Chinese Immigrant Wealth: Heterogeneity in Adaptation
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.