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Title:Ancestry versus ethnicity: the complexity and selectivity of Mexican identification in the United States PDF Logo
Authors:Duncan, Brian
Trejo, Stephen J.
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 3552
Abstract:Using microdata from the 2000 U.S. Census, we analyze the responses of Mexican Americans to questions that independently elicit their ethnicity (or Hispanic origin) and their ancestry. We investigate whether different patterns of responses to these questions reflect varying degrees of ethnic attachment. For example, those identified as Mexican in both the Hispanic origin and the ancestry questions might have stronger ethnic ties than those identified as Mexican only in the ancestry question. How U.S.-born Mexicans report their ethnicity/ancestry is strongly associated with measures of human capital and labor market performance. In particular, educational attainment, English proficiency, and earnings are especially high for men and women who claim a Mexican ancestry but report their ethnicity as not Hispanic. Further, intermarriage and the Mexican identification of children are also strongly related to how U.S.-born Mexican adults report their ethnicity/ancestry, revealing a possible link between the intergenerational transmission of Mexican identification and economic status.
Subjects:Mexican
ethnicity
ancestry
intermarriage
JEL:J15
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-2008062518
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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