Segmented Paths? Generational Differences in the Transition to Homeownership

Luis A. Sanchez, Pennsylvania State University

Homeownership represents an important indicator of immigrant incorporation and acculturation. It reflects an immigrant’s commitment to remain in the host country and serves as a vehicle of wealth accumulation. This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979) to test theories of immigrant assimilation (straight-line vs. segmented) by focusing on generational patterns to first-time homeownership using a discrete time hazard model. I find an increase in the likelihood of first-time homeownership between Hispanic first and second generation. However, by the third generation I find Hispanics are experiencing significantly lower likelihoods of becoming a first-time homeowner in comparison to native-born whites. I did not find support for straight-line assimilation theory in terms of the transition homeownership but rather I found that black and Hispanic immigrants are experiencing segmented paths towards ownership and achieving the “American Dream.”

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Presented in Poster Session 2