Interethnic Marriage: The Relationships between Education, Race, and Immigrant Generation

Delia Furtado, University of Connecticut
Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, University of Cyprus

This paper examines the effect of education on intermarriage and specifically, whether the mechanisms through which education affects intermarriage differ by immigrant generation, age at arrival, and race. We consider three main paths. First, educated people may be better able to adapt to different cultures making them more likely to marry natives. Second, educated immigrants may move out of their ethnic enclaves, again making them more likely to meet and so marry natives. Lastly, if spouse-searchers value similarities in education as well as ethnicity, then the effect of education will depend on the availability of same-ethnicity potential spouses with a similar level of education. We find evidence for all three effects. Our estimates also suggest that assortative matching is relatively more important for the native born rather than the foreign born, for the foreign born that arrived young rather than old, and for Asians rather than Hispanics.

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Presented in Session 171: Assortative Mating