Spouse effects on economic assimilation among foreign-born men and women: Analyses on marital returns
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This dissertation aims at analyzing economic assimilation of foreign-born men and women with resources of their spouses. Existing studies on economic assimilation of foreign-born men and women have mainly focused on human capital of themselves and less discussed about resources that existed outside of those foreign-born workers. Based on the partner effect thesis that explains that partner’s resources are the other partner’s social capital used for occupational success, this study investigates partner effects on economic assimilation of foreign-born workers. Using The New Immigrant Survey-2003 (The NIS-2003), employment status, occupational level, and occupational mobility of first generation of foreign-born immigrant men and women are analyzed. Partner’s nativity and information of country where the couples had conducted marriages are included to analyze whether those marital related factors affect economic assimilation. Partner’s education, employment status and occupational level, and use of English language are also examined as social capital that affects economic assimilation of foreign-born partner. The results are discussed with three kinds of partner effects: nativity; education; and occupational resources. The effect of nativity of partner differs between men and women. While marriages with foreign-born women in the U.S. positively relates to employment and occupational upward mobility for foreign-born husbands, marriages with American-born husbands increase the probability of upward mobility for foreign-born wives. Partner’s education increases job prestige of foreign-born husbands. Partner’s education decreases the probability of foreign-born wife’s labor force participation but if wives are in labor force, it increases their job prestige. With regard to partner’s occupational status effect, while wife’s labor force participation has increased the job prestige of the husbands, wife’s job prestige has negative effect on the husband’s employment and prestige. For foreign-born wives, while husband’s labor force participation decreases labor force participation of the wives, husband’s job prestige increases the job levels of the wives. Speaking English to spouse increases the probability of employment and job prestige, and this study concludes that speaking English with spouse is a form of social capital that accelerates employability of the foreign-born spouse. Findings of this study suggest that degree of economic assimilation of foreign-born spouses are not only explained by degree of assimilation of individuals but also by partner’s resources and nativities.