Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Asset ownership of recent immigrants: An examination of nativity and socioeconomic factors

Swarn Chatterjee, Jinhee Kim


This study uses a nationally representative sample of newly legalized immigrants to the United States to investigate factors related to their financial and non-financial asset ownership. Our analysis examines the ownership of financial assets, homes, and businesses in association with human capital, acculturation, and other demographic variables. The results indicate that household income and English fluency are significant predictors of financial, housing and business asset ownership. Other demographic, human capital and acculturation factors have varying effects on asset ownership. Understanding these factors of asset ownership can be useful to practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in developing strategies that can help immigrants integrate into the host country’s society.


Acculturation; financial assets; business ownership; homeownership; immigrants

Full Text:



Amuedo-Dorantes, C., & Pozo, S. (2002). Precautionary saving by young immigrants and young natives. Southern Economic Journal, 69(1): 48-71.

Amuedo-Dorantes, C., & Bansak, C. (2006). Money transfers among banked and unbanked Mexican immigrants. Southern Economic Journal, 73(2): 374-401.

Beine, M., Docquier, F., & Rapoport (2007). Measuring international skilled migra-tion: New estimates controlling for age of entry. The World Bank Economic Re-view, 21(2): 249-254.

Bleakley, H. & Chin, A. (2004). Language skills and earnings: evidence from child-hood migrants. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 86 (2): 481-496.

Borjas, G. J. (1985). Assimilation, changes in cohort quality, and the earnings of immigrants. Journal of Labor Economics, 3 (4): 463-496.

Borjas, G. J. (1994). The economics of immigration. Journal Economic Literature, 32: 1667-1717.

Borjas, G. J. (2002). Homeownership in the immigrant population. Journal of Urban Economics, 52(3): 448–476.

Carroll, C. D., Rhee, B. K., & Rhee, C. (1994). Are there cultural effects on saving? Some Cross-sectional evidence. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 109(3): 685-699.

Carroll, C. D., Rhee, B. K., & Rhee, C. (1999). Does cultural origin affect saving behavior? Evidence from immigrants. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 48(1): 33-50.

Chiteji, N.S., & Stafford, F. P. (1999). Portfolio choices of parents and their children as young adults: Asset accumulation by African-America families. American Economic Review, 89(2): 377-380.

Cobb-Clark, D. A., & Hildebrand, V. A. (2006). The wealth and asset holdings of US-born and Foreign-born households: Evidence from SIPP data. Review of Income and Wealth, 52: 17-42.

Cobb-Clark, D. A., & Hildebrand, V. A. (2006). The portfolio choices of Hispanic couples. Social Science Quarterly, 87 (5): 1344-1364.

Cobb-Clark, D. A., & Kossoudji, S. A. (1999). Did legalization matter for women? Amnesty and the wage determinants of formerly unauthorized Latina workers. Gender Issues, 17(4): 3-14.

Jasso, G., Massey, D.S., Rosenzweig, M.R., & Smith, J.P. (2006). New Immigrant Survey: Adult Sample. Princeton University Handout, Princeton, NJ.

McConnell, E. D. & Akresh, I. D. (March, 2009). Housing Cost Burden and New Lawful Immigrants in the United States. Population Research Policy Review.

Orozco, M., & Lepointe, M. (2004). Mexican hometown associations and develop-ment opportunities. Journal of International Affairs, 57(2): 1-21.

Osili, U. O., & Paulson, A. (2004). Prospects for Immigrant-Native wealth assimila-tion: Evidence from financial market participation. Working Paper, Federal Re-serve Bank of Chicago, No. 04-18.

Osili, U. O., & Paulson, A. (2008). Institutions and Financial Development: Evidence from International Migrants in the United States. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 90(3): 498-517.

Paulson, A., & Singer, A., et al. (2006). Financial access for immigrants: Lessons from diverse perspectives. Report for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Brookings Institution.

Rhine, S.L.W., & Greene, W.H. (2006). The determinants of being unbanked for U.S. immigrants. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 40(1): 21-40.

Sevak, P., & Schmidt, L. (2007). How do immigrants fare in retirement? University of Michigan Working Paper 169.

Zagorsky, J.L. (2005). Health and wealth: The late-20th century obesity epidemic in the U.S. Economics and Human Biology, 3(2): 296-313.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Transnational Press London

Copyright © 2003-2016 Migration Letters / Transnational Press London | All rights reserved | Contact Us