Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

  • C. Matthew Snipp
  • Tomas Jimenez
  • Linda Burton
  • Hazel Markus
  • Douglas Massey
  • Marybeth Mattingly

Leaders: Linda Burton, Tomás Jiménez, Hazel Markus, Douglas Massey, Marybeth Mattingly, C. Matthew Snipp

The CPI has an extensive research program on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty. The National Poverty Study, for example, is designed to rigorously compare differences across rural black, deindustrialized, reservation, and other “racialized” poverty forms. The CPI also runs a comprehensive program on Hispanic poverty that explores such topics as the “chilling effect” of anti-immigrant laws on program use, the reasons why, contrary to much speculation, the Hispanic poverty rate has not taken off, and the causes of the so-called Hispanic Health Paradox (see, for example, our Pathways Magazine special report on poverty, inequality, and mobility among Hispanics). And one of the CPI’s most distinguished affiliates, Jennifer Eberhardt (who is on the CPI directorate), is carrying out a groundbreaking big-data analysis of policing and race. We list below a sampling of other CPI projects on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty.

Poverty among refugees: The U.S. refugee population faces very high rates of poverty, yet we know very little about the effects of different resettlement programs and approaches. There are efforts afoot to exploit available administrative data and begin to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Arrests, race, and poverty: Why are some arrests resolved informally while others are converted into a criminal record that then has a life-long scarring effect? The process of converting an arrest into a criminal booking may play an important role in generating downstream racial disparities.

Reducing the race gap in test scores: The new Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is a rich resource that is providing the most systematic evidence to date on the capacity of school-district policies to reduce the racial gap in test scores.

Poverty and schooling on reservations: Why are test scores and educational outcomes on Native reservations so low (relative to the national average)? In a new project by the noted ethnographer Martin Sánchez-Jankowski, we’ll be learning more about how traditional and formal education are viewed and the ways in which they might be better integrated. 

Race And Ethnicity - CPI Research

Title Author Media
How Race and Unemployment Shape Labor Market Opportunities: Additive, Amplified, or Muted Effects? David S. Pedulla

How Race and Unemployment Shape Labor Market Opportunities: Additive, Amplified, or Muted Effects?

Author: David S. Pedulla
Publisher: Social Forces
Date: 06/2018

The manner in which social categories combine to produce inequality lies at the heart of scholarship on social stratification. To date, scholars have largely pointed to two primary ways that negatively stereotyped categories may aggregate: 1) additive effects, whereby one category has similar consequences across the other category, and 2) amplified congruence, whereby a secondary category exacerbates the negative effects of the first category. This article develops an alternative potential aggregation pattern—muted congruence—which posits that when individuals evaluate others that occupy multiple social positions about which stereotypes are highly congruent, such as being black and being unemployed, the additional category membership will have limited influence over the ultimate evaluation. Using evidence from a field experiment, where fictitious applications were submitted to real job openings, I examine which aggregation pattern most accurately reflects how race and unemployment shape actual hiring decisions. In line with predictions from the “muted congruence” perspective, the findings indicate that racial discrimination is prominent, but that there are limited additional negative effects of unemployment for African American workers. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for understanding the aggregation of social categories in the production of inequality.

Convergence and Disadvantage in Poverty Trends (1980–2010): What is Driving the Relative Socioeconomic Position of Hispanics and Whites? Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza

Convergence and Disadvantage in Poverty Trends (1980–2010): What is Driving the Relative Socioeconomic Position of Hispanics and Whites?

Author: Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza
Publisher: Race and Social Problems
Date: 03/2018

The gap between white and Hispanic poverty has remained stable for decades despite dramatic changes in the size and composition of the two groups. The gap, however, conceals crucial differences within the Hispanic population whereby some leverage education and smaller families to stave off poverty while others facing barriers to citizenship and English language acquisition face particularly high rates. In this paper, we use Decennial Census and American Community Survey data to examine poverty rates between Hispanic and non-Hispanic, white heads of household. We find the usual suspects stratify poverty risks: gender, age, employment, education, marital status, family size, and metro area status. In addition, Hispanic ethnicity has become a weaker indicator of poverty. We then decompose trends in poverty gaps between racial and ethnic groups. Between 1980 and 2010, poverty gaps persisted between whites and Hispanics. We find support for a convergence of advantages hypothesis and only partial support (among Hispanic noncitizens and Hispanics with limited English language proficiency) for a rising disadvantages hypothesis. Poverty-reducing gains in educational attainment alongside smaller families kept white–Hispanic poverty gaps from rising. If educational attainment continues to rise and family size drops further, poverty rates could fall, particularly for Hispanics who still have lower education and larger families, on average. Gains toward citizenship and greater English language proficiency would also serve to reduce the Hispanic–white poverty gap.

Divergent Pathways to Assimilation? Local Marriage Markets and Intermarriage Among U.S. Hispanics Zhenchao Qian, Daniel T. Lichter, Dmitry Tumin

Divergent Pathways to Assimilation? Local Marriage Markets and Intermarriage Among U.S. Hispanics

Author: Zhenchao Qian, Daniel T. Lichter, Dmitry Tumin
Publisher: Journal of Marriage and Family
Date: 02/2018

The growing diversity of the U.S. population raises questions about integration among America's fastest growing minority population—Hispanics. The canonical view is that intermarriage with the native-born White population represents a pathway to assimilation that varies over geographic space in response to uneven marital opportunities. Using data on past-year marriage from the 2009–2014 American Community Survey, the authors demonstrate high rates of intermarriage among Hispanics. The analyses identify whether Hispanics marry coethnics, non-co-ethnic Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, or other minorities. The authors highlight variation by race, nativity, and socioeconomic status and reveal that Hispanics living in new immigrant destinations are more likely to intermarry than those living in traditional Hispanic gateways. Indeed, the higher out-marriage in new destinations disappears when the demographic context of reception is taken into account. The analysis underscores that patterns of marital assimilation among Hispanics are neither monolithic nor expressed uniformly across geographic space.

The New Third Generation: Post-1965 Immigration and the Next Chapter in the Long Story of Assimilation Tomás R. Jiménez, Julie Park, Juan Pedroza

The New Third Generation: Post-1965 Immigration and the Next Chapter in the Long Story of Assimilation

Author: Tomás R. Jiménez, Julie Park, Juan Pedroza
Publisher: International Migration Review
Date: 12/2017

Now is the time for social scientists to focus an analytical lens on the new third generation to see what their experiences reveal about post-1965 assimilation. This paper is a first step. We compare the household characteristics of post-1965, second-generation Latino and Asian children in 1980 to a “new third generation” in 2010. Today's new third generation is growing up in households headed by parents who have higher socioeconomic attainment; that are more likely to be headed by intermarried parents; that are less likely to contain extended family; and that, when living with intermarried parents, are more likely to have children identified with a Hispanic or Asian label compared to second-generation children growing in 1980. We use these findings to inform a larger research agenda for studying the new third generation.

The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life Tomas Jimenez

The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life

Author: Tomas Jimenez
Publisher: University of California Press
Date: 07/2017

The immigration patterns of the last three decades have profoundly changed nearly every aspect of life in the United States. What do those changes mean for the most established Americans—those whose families have been in the country for multiple generations?
The Other Side of Assimilation shows that assimilation is not a one-way street. Jiménez explains how established Americans undergo their own assimilation in response to profound immigration-driven ethnic, racial, political, economic, and cultural shifts. Drawing on interviews with a race and class spectrum of established Americans in three different Silicon Valley cities, The Other Side of Assimilation illuminates how established Americans make sense of their experiences in immigrant-rich environments, in work, school, public interactions, romantic life, and leisure activities. With lucid prose, Jiménez reveals how immigration not only changes the American cityscape but also reshapes the United States by altering the outlooks and identities of its most established citizens. 

race and ethnicity - CPI Affiliates

Tomás Jiménez's picture Tomás Jiménez Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Director of Undergraduate Program on Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Director, Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology; Associate Professor of Sociology
Stanford University
Hazel Markus's picture Hazel Markus Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader, Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences , Director of Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Stanford University
Beth Mattingly's picture Beth Mattingly Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Research Consultant, Center of Poverty and Inequality; Director of Research on Vulnerable Families, University of New Hampshire; Research Assistant Sociology Professor, University of New Hampshire
Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
C. Matthew Snipp's picture C. Matthew Snipp Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader, Director of Social Science Secure Data Center, Professor of Sociology, Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences
Stanford University
Douglas S. Massey's picture Douglas S. Massey Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs
Princeton University


Race And Ethnicity - Other Research

Title Author Media
New Evidence of Generational Progress for Mexican Americans Brian Duncan, Jeffrey Grogger, Ana Sofia Leon, Stephen J. Trejo

New Evidence of Generational Progress for Mexican Americans

Author: Brian Duncan, Jeffrey Grogger, Ana Sofia Leon, Stephen J. Trejo
Publisher: NBER
Date: 11/2017

U.S.-born Mexican Americans suffer a large schooling deficit relative to other Americans, and standard data sources suggest that this deficit does not shrink between the 2nd and later generations. Standard data sources lack information on grandparents’ countries of birth, however, which creates potentially serious issues for tracking the progress of later-generation Mexican Americans. Exploiting unique NLSY97 data that address these measurement issues, we find substantial educational progress between the 2nd and 3rd generations for a recent cohort of Mexican Americans. Such progress is obscured when we instead mimic the limitations inherent in standard data sources.

Racial Profiling and Use of Force in Police Stops: How Local Events Trigger Periods of Increased Discrimination Joscha Legewie

Racial Profiling and Use of Force in Police Stops: How Local Events Trigger Periods of Increased Discrimination

Author: Joscha Legewie
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 09/2016

Racial profiling and the disproportionate use of police force are controversial political issues. I argue that racial bias in the use of force increases after relevant events such as the shooting of a police officer by a black suspect. To examine this argument, I design a quasi experiment using data from 3.9 million time and geocoded pedestrian stops in New York City. The findings show that two fatal shootings of police officers by black suspects increased the use of police force against blacks substantially in the days after the shootings. The use of force against whites and Hispanics, however, remained unchanged, and there is no evidence for an effect of two other police murders by a white and Hispanic suspect. Aside from the importance for the debate on racial profiling and police use of force, this research reveals a general set of processes where events create intergroup conflict, foreground stereotypes, and trigger discriminatory responses.

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration Francine D. Blau, Christopher Mackie

The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration

Author: Francine D. Blau, Christopher Mackie
Publisher: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Date: 09/2016

More than 40 million people living in the United States were born in other countries, and almost an equal number have at least one foreign-born parent. Together, the first generation (foreign-born) and second generation (children of the foreign-born) comprise almost one in four Americans. It comes as little surprise, then, that many U.S. residents view immigration as a major policy issue facing the nation. Not only does immigration affect the environment in which everyone lives, learns, and works, but it also interacts with nearly every policy area of concern, from jobs and the economy, education, and health care, to federal, state, and local government budgets.

The changing patterns of immigration and the evolving consequences for American society, institutions, and the economy continue to fuel public policy debate that plays out at the national, state, and local levels. The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration assesses the impact of dynamic immigration processes on economic and fiscal outcomes for the United States, a major destination of world population movements. This report will be a fundamental resource for policy makers and law makers at the federal, state, and local levels but extends to the general public, nongovernmental organizations, the business community, educational institutions, and the research community.


On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-U.S. Migration Filiz Garip

On the Move: Changing Mechanisms of Mexico-U.S. Migration

Author: Filiz Garip
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date: 08/2016

Why do Mexicans migrate to the United States? Is there a typical Mexican migrant? Beginning in the 1970s, survey data indicated that the average migrant was a young, unmarried man who was poor, undereducated, and in search of better employment opportunities. This is the general view that most Americans still hold of immigrants from Mexico. On the Move argues that not only does this view of Mexican migrants reinforce the stereotype of their undesirability, but it also fails to capture the true diversity of migrants from Mexico and their evolving migration patterns over time.

Using survey data from over 145,000 Mexicans and in-depth interviews with nearly 140 Mexicans, Filiz Garip reveals a more accurate picture of Mexico-U.S migration. In the last fifty years there have been four primary waves: a male-dominated migration from rural areas in the 1960s and '70s, a second migration of young men from socioeconomically more well-off families during the 1980s, a migration of women joining spouses already in the United States in the late 1980s and ’90s, and a generation of more educated, urban migrants in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For each of these four stages, Garip examines the changing variety of reasons for why people migrate and migrants’ perceptions of their opportunities in Mexico and the United States. 

Looking at Mexico-U.S. migration during the last half century, On the Move uncovers the vast mechanisms underlying the flow of people moving between nations.


International Migration and National Development: From Orthodox Equilibrium to Transnationalism Alejandro Portes

International Migration and National Development: From Orthodox Equilibrium to Transnationalism

Author: Alejandro Portes
Publisher: Sociology of Development
Date: 06/2016

This article reviews theoretical perspectives on migration and development, starting with nineteenth-century political economy theories focused on “colonizing” migrations from England and other European powers and concluding with the emerging literature on immigrant transnationalism and its consequences for sending nations. The general concept of equilibrium has until currently dominated orthodox economic theories of both colonizing and labor migrations from peripheral regions to advanced nations. The counteroffensive, led by Gunnar Myrdal and theorists of the dependency school, centered on the notion of cumulative causation leading to increasing poverty and the depopulation of peripheral sending areas. Both perspectives registered numerous empirical anomalies, stemming from a common view of migration flows as occurring between separate politico-economic entities. An alternative conceptualization of such flows as internal to an overarching global system has improved our understanding of causes and consequences of labor migration and has framed the back-and-forth complexities of these movements captured in the novel notion of transnationalism.