Occupational Mobility of Mexican Migrant Heads of Household in the United States

Gabriela Sanchez-Soto, University of Texas at San Antonio
Joachim Singelmann, University of Texas at San Antonio
Daesung Choi, University of Texas at San Antonio

This paper analyzes the pre-to-post migration occupational mobility of Mexican heads of households and their spouses who immigrated to the United States after 1965. We first provide an overview of the occupational distribution of migrants regarding their last occupation in Mexico and first occupation in the U.S., and then review characteristics of migrants that were found to have influenced mobility in different contexts. Our data come from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP). We report results separately for males and females. Females were far more likely to experience upward mobility than men and less likely to be downwardly mobile. Our models show substantial sex differentials in the determinants of mobility. Age affected occupational mobility of males but not females, with the reverse being the case for marital status. And for males, migrating to a traditional U.S. destination state decreased their likelihood of upward mobility whereas it increased that likelihood for women.

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Presented in Session 225: Socioeconomic Status of New Immigrants to the United States