Skip to main content

Intermarriage and the Lifecycle Timing of Migration

Author(s): Choi, Kate H.; Tienda, Marta

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Using data from the 2008–2015 American Community Survey, we document the relative permeability of ethno-racial boundaries between natives and immigrants who arrived at different stages of their lifecycle. To do so, we first assess the extent to which birthplace and education facilitate crossing pan-ethnic boundaries in partner selection. We then adjudicate between the competing hypotheses about the relationship between age at migration and intermarriage. Specifically, we identify the boundaries for which intermarriage diminishes monotonically with increasing age at migration and those for which intermarriage rates are highest for child migrants and lowest for adolescent migrants. Because of established gender differences in propensity to form exogamous unions (Wang et al. 2012), we also investigate whether intermarriage patterns by age at migration differs for men and women.Following a brief overview of the theoretical underpinnings of sorting behavior that highlights the significance of age at arrival for immigrant integration, we describe the analytical sample, key operational measures, and modeling approach. The empirical analysis, which begins with descriptive tabulations characterizing intermarriage rates across ethno-racial, nativity and gender groups, focuses on results from log-linear analyses that characterize variations in the permeability of boundaries. The concluding section summarizes key findings, study limitations and future research directions. Throughout, we use the term intermarriage and exogamy to refer to marriages involving spouses from distinct pan-ethnic groups; same race unions and endogamy to refer to marriages involving spouses from the same pan-ethnic group. Child migrants are immigrants that arrived in the host country before age 12; adolescent migrants arrived between ages 12 and 17; and adult migrants arrived at ages 18 or higher.
Publication Date: 1-Sep-2018
Citation: Choi, KH, Tienda, M. (2018). Intermarriage and the Lifecycle Timing of Migration. International Migration Review, 52 (3), 929 - 962. doi:10.1177/0197918318781841
DOI: doi:10.1177/0197918318781841
ISSN: 0197-9183
EISSN: 1747-7379
Pages: 929 - 962
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: International Migration Review
Version: Author's manuscript

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.