Residential Assimilation between the First and Second Decade of U.S. Residence: Interplay of Human Capital and Ethnic Differences with Temporal Dynamics

Dowell Myers, University of Southern California
Zhou Yu, University of Southern California

This paper addresses the residential assimilation of three distinctive immigrant groups in the greater Los Angeles area, focusing on a single arrival cohort that came in 1975-79, and analyzing the pace and determinants of their assimilation between 1990 and 2000. We pay particular attention to the duration of U.S. residence and its interaction with key determinants: birth cohorts, English proficiency and use, human capital, income, and housing attainments. We expect to find that locational attainment is connected to homeownership and house value, and that such connection varies across immigrant groups. Younger immigrant householders, especially those age 15-24 in 1990 and 25-34 in 2000, i.e., approximating the 1.5 generation, have assimilated faster than middle-aged immigrants. Human capital differences and housing attainments explain much, but not all, of the large difference between Chinese and Mexican immigrants, but less of the difference between Chinese and Korean immigrants. Distinct ethnic differences remain.

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Presented in Session 43: Race, Assimilation, and Housing