Chinese Immigrant Wealth: Heterogeneity in Adaptation.

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2016

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Abstract

Chinese immigrants are a diverse and growing group whose members provide a unique opportunity to examine within-immigrant group differences in adaptation. In this paper, we move beyond thinking of national-origin groups as homogenous and study variation among Chinese immigrants in wealth ownership, a critical indicator of adaptation that attracts relatively little attention in the immigration literature. We develop an analytical approach that considers national origin, tenure in the U.S., and age to examine heterogeneity in economic adaptation among the immigrant generation. Our results show that variations among Chinese immigrants explain within-group differences in net worth, asset ownership, and debt. These differences also account for important variation between Chinese immigrants, natives, and other immigrant groups and provide important, new insight into the processes that lead to immigrant adaptation and long-term class stability.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1371/journal.pone.0168043

Scholars@Duke

Keister

Lisa A. Keister

Professor of Sociology

Lisa A. Keister is professor of sociology and public policy at Duke University and an affiliate of the Duke Network Analysis Center and the Duke Population Research Initiative. Her current research focuses on organization strategy, elite households, the processes that explain extremes in wealth and income inequality, and on group differences in the intergenerational transfer of assets. She has been focusing on the causes and consequences of net worth poverty recently with colleagues from the Sanford school and is currently completing two books: one on America’s wealthiest families, the one percent, and one on net worth poverty.


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