The Marital Status of Recent Mexican Immigrants in the United States in 1980 and 19901


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    We would like to express our appreciation to Jay Pope for his excellent research assistance and insightful contributions to a preliminary version of this study. We also thank the IMR reviewers and Lydio F. Tomasi for their helpful suggestions.


Using Public Use Microdata Samples, we analyze the temporal marriage patterns of recent Mexican immigrants in the United States, and relate these patterns to socioeconomic and political events, such as U.S. immigration reform, increasing returns to skill, and rising incentives for unattached Mexicans to migrate during the 1980s. Our findings indicate that recent Mexican immigrants (particularly men) were less likely to be married within five years of migrating in 1990 than their counterparts had been in 1980. An empirical extension further suggests that the relative endogamy odds among Mexican immigrants who migrated to the United States by 1980 increased during the next decade. Such demographic changes may affect policies involving issues such as education, welfare and retirement.