Three essays on immigrant assimilation Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Tong, Yuying
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • Plenty of researches have studied immigrant assimilation in recent decades, and they can be divided into two main streams: one is adaptation of children of immigrants and the other is adult economic assimilation. This dissertation studies both, but focuses on positive behavior for children and gender disparity of earnings for adults. For immigrant youth studies, the main contribution is incorporating the positive social behavior of volunteering in assimilation literature. For adult study, it reexamines the earnings assimilation and gender disparity using repeated measures for same individuals for a particular group of scientists and engineers. I chose volunteering as a positive social behavior to distinguish it from the common health and risky behaviors analyzed in previous assimilation studies. In this three-article format dissertation, my first article examined whether exposure as measured by the duration of residence in the U.S. increases volunteering among youth. I assess duration of residence in two ways: intergenerationally and intragenerationally. The dataset is from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The result shows that second generation immigrants actually participate more in volunteering than the third generation immigrants, though this difference disappears in adulthood. This suggests a temporary accommodation by second generation adolescents. The second article also studies youth assimilation on volunteering, which conceptualizes exposure based not only on duration of residence but also neighborhood-level exposure to nativeborn people. The regression shows different pattern for advantaged and disadvantaged neighborhoods. In advantaged neighborhoods, when the proportion of foreign-born immigrants living in the same neighborhood increases, the initial positive effect of time exposure on volunteering weakens and changes direction to become a negative effect. This findings add to the segmented assimilation theory that exposure to natives at neighborhood is also needed to be considered in empirical tests. The third article examines the displacement and discrimination perspectives using the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) integrated data. This unique data allows me to control unobserved heterogeneity. The results show that immigrant males are in earning disadvantages compared to their counterparts, thus the discrimination theory is supported in male sample. This study emphasizes that gender disparity exists in adult economic assimilation.
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  • Entwisle, Barbara
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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