TITLE: Changes in Educational Attainment Across Generations for Mexican Immigrants and Their Descendants: Do Increases Stall Between the Second and Third Generations?

AUTHOR: Hans P. Johnson

PAGES: 35      DATE: September 2005

ABSTRACT: Assessing changes in educational attainment across generations of immigrants is difficult because of the lack of data on the second and third generations. This paper uses the General Social Survey and the Current Population Survey to assess intergenerational changes in educational attainment. The focus is on Mexican immigrants—the largest and among the least-educated group of immigrants in the United States—and their descendants. Alternative approaches of identifying the second and third generations are considered. The findings suggest that the measurement of generational change is sensitive to definitional and methodological assumptions. In particular, third generation descendants of Mexican immigrants show strong increases in educational attainment vis-à-vis their parents but little difference when compared to today’s second generation descendants of Mexican immigrants.

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