Immigrant-Native Differentials in Multiple-Earner Strategies and Household Poverty
Kennedy-Puthoff, Alexa Kjestine
Bianchi, Suzanne M.
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Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2001 Supplementary Survey, this thesis addresses poverty at the household level and examines the role of secondary earners in alleviating household poverty. Descriptive analyses assess the extent of poverty among native- and foreign-born households as well as the prevalence of secondary earners in each household. Multivariate analyses follow Jensen's (1991) conceptualization of "amelioration," that is, the ability of secondary earners to raise household income above the poverty line. The analyses highlight the importance of considering household composition in studies of poverty. The central research question posed is: is the ameliorative effect of secondary earners greater in foreign-born than in native-born households? The results suggest that secondary earners are more important in alleviating poverty in low-income foreign-born households than in low-income native-born households (households that are below the poverty threshold on the basis of the primary earner's earnings alone).