Education and Asymmetric Hispanic Assimilation: A Preliminary Exploration
Brito, Dagobert L.
In a recent book, Samuel Huntington argues that Hispanic immigration threatens “America’s identity, values and way of life.” He supports this argument by citing data that supports the widely held belief that Hispanics have not assimilated as well as other ethnic groups, and in fact some investigators have reported that the educational achievement of Hispanics actually declines in the third and fourth generations. This paper uses the data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) to explore the implications of the assumption that Hispanics who are high school graduates are more likely to intermarry with the rest of the non-Hispanic population than Hispanics who are not high school graduates. The calculations in this paper suggest that the perception that Hispanics are not assimilating as well as other immigrant groups can be explained by selective assimilation that removes a large fraction of the more educated members of the group from the population that is being observed.