Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 405–435

The transmission of women’s fertility, human capital, and work orientation across immigrant generations


  • Francine D. Blau
    • Department of EconomicsCornell University
    • Department of EconomicsCornell University
  • Albert Yung-Hsu Liu
    • Mathematica Policy Research
  • Kerry L. Papps
    • Department of EconomicsUniversity of Bath
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0424-x

Cite this article as:
Blau, F.D., Kahn, L.M., Liu, A.Y. et al. J Popul Econ (2013) 26: 405. doi:10.1007/s00148-012-0424-x


Using the 1995–2011 March Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we find that the fertility, education, and labor supply of second-generation women (US-born women with at least one foreign-born parent) are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation’s levels of these variables, with the effect of the fertility and labor supply of women from the mother’s source country generally larger than that of women from the father’s source country and the effect of the education of men from the father’s source country larger than that of women from the mother’s source country. We present some evidence that suggests our findings for fertility and labor supply are due at least in part to intergenerational transmission of gender roles. Transmission rates for immigrant fertility and labor supply between generations are higher than for education, but there is considerable intergenerational assimilation toward native levels for all three of these outcomes.


GenderImmigrationLabor supplyHuman capitalFertilityEducation

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012