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Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages

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Author Info

  • Krishna Patel

    (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)

  • Francis Vella

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

Occupational shares of various ethnic groups have grew tremendously in regional U.S. labor markets from 1980 to 2000. Using U.S. Census data, we examine the extent to which this growth is attributed to network effects by studying the relationship between the occupational choice of recently arrived immigrants with those of established immigrants from the same country, We find strong evidence of network effects. First, new arrivals are choosing the same occupations as their compatriots, a decision that is operating at the regional level. Second, individuals who choose the most common occupation of their compatriots enjoy a large and positive earnings effect. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00327
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1249-1277

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:4:p:1249-1277

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Keywords: network effects; immigrants; occupational choice; earnings;

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  1. Topa, Giorgio, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 261-95, April.
  2. Giorgio Topa & Stephen Ross & Patrick Bayer, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 05-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Samuel Bentolila & Claudio Michelacci & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Social Contacts And Occupational Choice," Working Papers wp2004_06, CEMFI.
  4. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  5. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1990. "Job Search Outcomes for the Employed and Unemployed," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 637-55, June.
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