A New Model of Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the U.S., 1970 to 2000

Dowell Myers, University of Southern California
Julie Park, University of Southern California
Seong Hee Min, University of Southern California

To measure true intergenerational mobility, the status of the first generation must be compared to their children, the second generation, when they reach a comparable age of maturity some 25 to 30 years later. Questions have also been raised about differences between the 2nd and 2.5 generations. This paper reports new findings from an NICHD-sponsored study of the temporal dynamics of assimilation in America. A new model design is developed that links 1970 and 1998-2002 data to probe more deeply the process of intergenerational mobility, using indicators of educational attainment, poverty status, and homeownership. Questions addressed include how much the second generation in 2000 has closed the gap with a third or higher generation reference group compared to the gap experienced by their “parents” in 1970 and how the relative progress of the second generation varies between those with one immigrant parent and two immigrant parents.

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Presented in Session 6: Immigrant Adaptation