, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 49–73 | Cite as

Parental Origins, Mixed Unions, and the Labor Supply of Second-Generation Women in the United States

  • Patricia A. McManusEmail author
  • Lauren Apgar


This study examines the joint impact of parental origins and partner choice on the employment behavior of second-generation women in the United States. We find that endogamy (choosing a first- or second-generation partner from the same national-origin group) is associated with lower labor supply among second-generation women, net of the effects of parental origin culture as proxied using the epidemiological approach to cultural transmission. Parental origin effects are mediated by education, but endogamy curtails economic activity regardless of educational attainment. The findings are robust for married women. Findings for women in cohabiting unions are more heterogeneous, however: cohabitation appears to mute some of the relationship between parental origin culture and women’s economic behavior. In particular, the negative relationship between endogamy and women’s labor supply does not hold for women in cohabiting unions.


Marital assimilation Gender Female labor market participation Second- generation immigrants Cultural transmission 



This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation Grant NSF-SES-1637083 and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. We thank Clem Brooks, Tom DiPrete, Jennifer C. Lee, the Indiana University Immigration Working Group, and the editors and several anonymous reviewers from Demography for helpful suggestions. The ideas expressed herein are those of the authors.

Supplementary material

13524_2018_736_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (69 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 69 kb)


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Office of Institutional ResearchThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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