The effects of 9/11 on intermarriage between natives and immigrants to the U.S.
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The existing literature generally finds a negative impact of the 9/11 tragedy on immigrants’ labor market performance, consistent with increased discrimination in the labor market and stricter immigration policies. In this paper, we examine the impact of this tragic event on a particular measure of immigrants’ social outcomes—marriage with a native or intermarriage. We find that the tragic event actually increases Hispanic immigrants’ probability of being married to a native. We suggest that our results could be explained by that after 9/11, the deteriorated labor market conditions, along with tightened immigration policies, may have led to increased incentives of immigrants to marry natives. This effect is large relative to the potential discrimination effect, if any, that could reduce natives’ willingness to marry an immigrant. We also find that the magnitude of the effect is much smaller in the years immediately following 9/11 and becomes larger over time; and that there exists a large, statistically significant gender difference in the effects of 9/11 on intermarriage outcomes. Finally, we conduct indirect tests of proposed explanations; and our results imply existence of economic gains from intermarriage, and that discrimination may indeed exist.
KeywordsMarriage Intermarriage Discrimination Immigrants 9/11
JEL ClassificationJ12 J14 J15 J61
The authors would like to thank Shoshana Grossbard (the editor), a knowledgeable and helpful referee, John Hurdelbrink, and session participants at the SEA conference in Atlanta, GA for helpful comments, suggestions, and discussions of this research.
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