Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Catherine Berheide


Using three generational cohorts, this paper compares the effects of generational status on earnings among seven Asian ethnic groups: Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and multi-race. Data from the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Current Population Survey were used to investigate income differences between first, second, and third and higher generations of Asian Americans. Total personal incomes of a sample of 16,521 individuals were analyzed. The findings showed that only Chinese, Filipino, and Korean individuals demonstrate income differences between first and second generations, where those who are second generation have higher incomes on the average than those who are first generation. Education has the strongest effect on income for all ethnic groups. In addition, results indicate that Asian women have lower personal incomes than Asian men on average. Among older respondents, all but one of the six Asian ethnic groups have higher personal incomes than those of younger respondents. The straight-line assimilation theory is partially confirmed by the first and second generations of Chinese, Filipino, and Korean. The study also indicates that the paths towards economic assimilation vary for different Asian ethnic groups.