IZA DP No. 3732: The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation across Immigrant Generations
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (2), 405-435
Using 1995–2006 Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we study the intergenerational transmission of fertility, human capital and work orientation of immigrants to their US-born children. We find that second-generation women's fertility and labor supply are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation's fertility and labor supply respectively, with the effect of mother's fertility and labor supply larger than that of women from the father's source country. The second generation's education levels are also significantly positively affected by that of their parents, with a stronger effect of father's than mother's education. Second-generation women's schooling levels are negatively affected by immigrant fertility, suggesting a quality-quantity tradeoff for immigrant families. We find higher transmission rates for immigrant fertility to the second generation than we do for labor supply or education: after one generation, 40-65% of any immigrant excess fertility will remain, but only 12-18% of any immigrant annual hours shortfall and 18-36% of any immigrant educational shortfall. These results suggest a considerable amount of assimilation across generations toward native levels of schooling and labor supply, although fertility effects show more persistence.