Tag Archives | Stratification

Deporting the American Dream: Immigration Enforcement and Latino Foreclosures

Jacob S. Rugh, Matthew Hall

Sociological Science, December 8, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a46



Over the past decade, Latinos have been buffeted by two major forces: a record number of immigrant deportations and the housing foreclosure crisis. Yet, prior work has not assessed the link between the two. We hypothesize that deportations exacerbate rates of foreclosure among Latinos by removing income earners from owner-occupied households. We employ a quasi-experimental approach that leverages variation in county applications for 287(g) immigration enforcement agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and data on foreclosure filings from 2005–2012. These models uncover a substantial association of enforcement with Hispanic foreclosure rates. The association is stronger in counties with more immigrant detentions and a larger share of undocumented persons in owner-occupied homes. The results imply that local immigration enforcement plays an important role in understanding why Latinos experienced foreclosures most often. The reduced home ownership and wealth that result illustrate how legal status and deportation perpetuate the racial stratification of Latinos.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Jacob S. Rugh: Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University
Email: jacob_rugh@byu.edu

Matthew Hall: Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University
Email: mhall@cornell.edu

Acknowledgements: We are very grateful to Jim Bachmeier for county unauthorized data and to Stephanie Potochnick, Juan Pedroza, and William Rosales for sharing 287(g) rejection FOIAs. We also thank Doug Massey, Jordan Matsudaira, Jody Vallejo, Scott Sanders, and Jon Jarvis for their helpful comments on earlier drafts.

  • Citation: Rugh, Jacob S., and Matthew Hall. 2016. “Deporting the American Dream: Immigration Enforcement and Latino Foreclosures.” Sociological Science 3: 1053-1076.
  • Received: September 26, 2016
  • Accepted: November 2, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a46

Growing Farther Apart: Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Household Wealth Across the Distribution

Michelle Maroto

Sociological Science, September 12, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a34



This article investigates net worth disparities by race and ethnicity using pooled data from the 1998–2013 waves of the U.S. Survey of Consumer Finances. I apply unconditional quantile regression models to examine net worth throughout the wealth distribution and decomposition procedures to demonstrate how different factors related to demographics, human capital, financial attitudes, and credit market access contribute to racial wealth disparities. In the aggregate, non-Hispanic black households held $8,000 less in net worth than non-Hispanic white households at the 10th percentile, $204,000 less at the median, and $1,055,000 at the 90th percentile. Hispanic households faced similar disadvantages, holding $4,000 less in net worth at the 10th percentile, $208,000 less at the median, and $1,023,000 less at the 90th percentile. Disparities continued, but declined, after accounting for labor market disadvantages and credit market access, which again varied across the distribution. Decomposition models show that demographic and income differences mattered more for high-wealth households. These variables accounted for 43–55 percent of the gap for high-wealth households at the 90th percentile but only 10–28 percent at the 10th percentile. Among low-wealth households, differential access to credit markets and homeownership was associated with a larger proportion of the gap in net worth.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Michelle Maroto: Department of Sociology, University of Alberta
Email: maroto@ualberta.ca

Acknowledgements: This research was partially supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant (#430-2014-00092).

  • Citation: Maroto, Michelle. 2016. “Growing Farther Apart: Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Household Wealth Across the Distribution.” Sociological Science 3: 801-824.
  • Received: May 11, 2016
  • Accepted: June 13, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a34

The Bell Curve Revisited: Testing Controversial Hypotheses with Molecular Genetic Data

Dalton Conley, Benjamin Domingue

Sociological Science, July 5, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a23



In 1994, the publication of Herrnstein’s and Murray’s The Bell Curve resulted in a social science maelstrom of responses. In the present study, we argue that Herrnstein’s and Murray’s assertions were made prematurely, on their own terms, given the lack of data available to test the role of genotype in the dynamics of achievement and attainment in U.S. society. Today, however, the scientific community has access to at least one dataset that is nationally representative and has genome-wide molecular markers. We deploy those data from the Health and Retirement Study in order to test the core series of propositions offered by Herrnstein and Murray in 1994. First, we ask whether the effect of genotype is increasing in predictive power across birth cohorts in the middle twentieth century. Second, we ask whether assortative mating on relevant genotypes is increasing across the same time period. Finally, we ask whether educational genotypes are increasingly predictive of fertility (number ever born [NEB]) in tandem with the rising (negative) association of educational outcomes and NEB. The answers to these questions are mostly no; while molecular genetic markers can predict educational attainment, we find little evidence for the proposition that we are becoming increasingly genetically stratified.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Dalton Conley: Department of Sociology, Princeton University
Email: dconley@princeton.edu

Benjamin Domingue: Graduate School of Education, Stanford University
Email: bdomingue@stanford.edu

Acknowledgements: Funding for this study was provided by the Russell Sage Foundation, Grant 83-15-29. This research uses data from the HRS, which is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (Grants NIA U01AG009740, RC2AG036495, and RC4AG039029) and conducted by the University of Michigan.

  • Citation: Conley, Dalton, and Benjamin Domingue. 2016. “The Bell Curve Revisited: Testing Controversial Hypotheses with Molecular Genetic Data.” Sociological Science 3: 520-539.
  • Received: January 19, 2016
  • Accepted: February 22, 2016
  • Editors: Stephen Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a23

How Much Scope for a Mobility Paradox? The Relationship between Social and Income Mobility in Sweden

Richard Breen, Carina Mood, Jan O. Jonsson

Sociological Science, February 4, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a3


It is often pointed out that conclusions about intergenerational (parent–child) mobility can differ depending on whether we base them on studies of class or income. We analyze empirically the degree of overlap in income and social mobility; we demonstrate mathematically the nature of their relationship; and we show, using simulations, how intergenerational income correlations relate to relative social mobility rates. Analyzing Swedish longitudinal register data on the incomes and occupations of over 300,000 parent–child pairs, we find that social mobility accounts for up to 49 percent of the observed intergenerational income correlations. This figure is somewhat greater for a fine-graded micro-class classification than a five-class schema and somewhat greater for women than men. There is a positive relationship between intergenerational social fluidity and income correlations, but it is relatively weak. Our empirical results, and our simulations verify that the overlap between income mobility and social mobility leaves ample room for the two indicators to move in different directions over time or show diverse patterns across countries. We explain the circumstances in which income and social mobility will change together or co-vary positively and the circumstances in which they will diverge.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Richard Breen: Nuffield College, Oxford University; Department of Sociology, Oxford University.  Email: richard.breen@nuttfield.ox.ac.uk

Carina Mood: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University; Institute for Futures Studies.  Email: carina.mood@iffs.se

Jan O. Jonsson: Nuffield College, Oxford university; Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University.  Email: janne.jonsson@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Acknowledgements: Thanks to participants at the RC28 meeting at the University of Virginia, August 2012, and particularly Mike Hout and Matt Lawrence, for comments on an earlier draft. Mood and Jonsson acknowledge financial support from the Swedish Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (FAS 2009-1320; FORTE 2012-1741) and from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (RJ P12-0636:1).


  • Citation: Breen, Richard, Carina Mood and Jan O. Jonsson. 2015. “How Much Scope for a Mobility Paradox? The Relationship between Social and Income Mobility in Sweden.” Sociological Science 3: 39-60.
  • Received: March 20, 2015.
  • Accepted: April 16, 2015.
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Kim Weeden
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a3

Disability and the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

Rourke O’Brien

Sociological Science, January 12, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a1


A higher proportion of working- age persons receive disability assistance in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands than in other European countries. Whereas current research emphasizes the connection between disability assistance and rates of labor force exit, to date there has been no exploration of how welfare state context influences individual self-reported disability. Using nationally representative data from 15 countries (n = 88, 478), I find that residents of generous welfare states are significantly more likely to report a disability net of self-reported health, sociodemographic, and labor force characteristics and, notably, that this association extends to younger and more educated workers. I argue that welfare state context may directly shape what it means to be disabled, which may have consequences for evaluations of welfare state performance and social exclusion.

Erratum: Versions downloaded prior to January 30th, 2015 omitted Figure 3. As a result, those versions also have incorrect pagination. Please use the current version.

Rourke O’Brien: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Harvard University E-mail: robrien@hsph.harvard.edu

  • Citation: O’Brien, Rourke L. 2015. “Disability and the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism” Sociological Science 2: 1-19.
  • Received: July 26, 2014
  • Accepted: September 20, 2014
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Stephen L. Morgan
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a1