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  • Writer's pictureJuan M. Pedroza

PAA 2021 Poster Award

Updated: May 12, 2021

On Thursday, I presented research I conducted with long-time collaborator Beth Mattingly (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston*) at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA).

Our poster ("Race, Nativity, and Unexpected Differences in Hispanic Income and Poverty") was one of 5 award winners for poster session #3 (see all poster winners at the PAA conference site)! See the poster here:

Download P • 1.30MB

Two main takeaways:

  • Dominant U.S. racial/ethnic hierarchies are reproduced among US-born Hispanics, as evidenced by higher poverty rates and lower household incomes among Black Hispanic households.

  • Racialized hierarchies among Hispanics are not inevitable: segments of Black Hispanic immigrant community are no more likely to live in poverty (or report low incomes) than others.

Special thanks to Ying Huang for our video chat, Elwood Carlson for feedback, Robert Hummer for engaging possible explanations for our work, and all of the poster session judges. The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty* (funded by The JPB Foundation) provided support for my time on this project through the Emerging Poverty Scholars Fellowship.

* The views expressed are our own and not those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston or the Federal Reserve System, or its Board of Governors, or of those funding and supporting this work.


Abstract: Due to structural racism, we know that identifying as Black puts one at an economic disadvantage, relative to non-Hispanic Whites, all else equal. Same for identifying as Hispanic. But is there a double disadvantage? Do Black Hispanic households lag behind other Hispanic households on measures of poverty and household income? If so, what accounts for these gaps? Not surprisingly, and consistent with accounts of U.S. racial/ethnic stratification trends, we find Black Hispanic households report higher poverty rates than other Hispanics. But that is only part of the story. Among immigrants from Latin America, Black Hispanic household income is higher than non-Black Hispanic income. Based on decomposition results (comparing Black Hispanic immigrants to other Hispanic immigrants), we find Black Hispanic immigrants report advantages in access to U.S. citizenship, higher educational attainment, and English language proficiency. In sum, if we came to conclusions about how Black Hispanic immigrants fit into the U.S. racial/ethnic order based on US-born trends alone, we would miss out on income diversity among Hispanic immigrants.

Data: We rely on American Community Survey data (2014-18) for Hispanic householders:

  • Ruggles, Steven, Sarah Flood, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, Erin Meyer, Jose Pacas, and Matthew Sobek. 2020. “IPUMS USA: Version 10.0 [Dataset].” 2020. #PoweredByIPUMS

Sample descriptives: Among Hispanic householders in the ACS analysis sample, a small proportion (2%) identify as Black, while the majority (67%) select White and another large portion (26%) choose “other” race.” For reference, selecting two or more races (3%) is nearly as common as identifying as both Hispanic and Black on the ACS (2% of all Hispanic households). Furthermore, 2.4% of US-born Hispanics are Black, compared to 3.9% of Hispanics born in Puerto Rico, and 1.6% of Hispanics born in Latin America who select Black.

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