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

Francisca Antman, Brian Duncan () and Stephen Trejo ()
Additional contact information
Brian Duncan: University of Colorado Denver

No 10062, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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.

Keywords: ethnic attrition; assimilation; identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 J12 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2016-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-hea and nep-mig
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: American Economic Review, 2016, 106 (5), 467-471

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