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Ethnic Attrition and the Observed Health of Later-Generation Mexican Americans

Francisca Antman, Brian Duncan and Stephen Trejo ()

American Economic Review, 2016, vol. 106, issue 5, 467-71

Abstract: Numerous studies find that U.S.-born Hispanics differ significantly from non-Hispanic whites on important measures of human capital, including health. Nevertheless, almost all studies rely on subjective measures of ethnic self-identification to identify immigrants' U.S.-born descendants. This can lead to bias due to "ethnic attrition," which occurs whenever a U.S.-born descendant of a Hispanic immigrant fails to self-identify as Hispanic. This paper shows that Mexican American ethnic attritors are generally more likely to display health outcomes closer to those of non-Hispanic whites. This biases conventional estimates of Mexican American health away from suggesting patterns of assimilation and convergence with non-Hispanic whites.

JEL-codes: I12 J15 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20161111
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