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Immigrants and the Labor Market

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  • James P. Smith

    (RAND Corporation)

Abstract

This article examines skill gaps between immigrants and native-born Americans and generational progress achieved by different immigrant ethnic groups. Evidence of a widening skill gap is not strong. While wage data show a pronounced fall in relative wages of "recent" immigrants, significant independent contributors to that decline are a widening age gap and the increasing price of skill. When attention shifts to legal migrants, the evidence is that legal migrants are, at a minimum, keeping up with native-born Americans. I find that the concern that educational generational progress among Latino immigrants has lagged behind other immigrant ethnic groups is unfounded.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 203-234

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:24:y:2006:i:2:p:203-234

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  1. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  2. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1997. "Recent Immigrants: Unexpected Implications for Crime and Incarceration," NBER Working Papers 6067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2000. "The Changing Skill of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 185-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "The New Immigrant Survey Pilot (NIS-P): Overview and New Findings about U.S. Legal Immigrants at Admission," Labor and Demography 0403002, EconWPA.
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 2002. "The Immigrant and native-born wage distributions: Evidence from United States censuses," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 97-121, October.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  10. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1990. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 3573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-run convergence of ethnic skill differentials: The children and grandchildren of the Great Migration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Timothy J. Hatton & Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, not just as Individuals," CEPR Discussion Papers 547, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2008. "Ethnic minority immigrants and their children in Britain," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 7-2008, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  3. Sarah Bohn, 2010. "The quantity and quality of new immigrants to the US," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 29-51, March.
  4. Lundborg, Per & Skedinger, Per, 2014. "Employer Attitudes towards Refugee Immigrants," Working Paper Series 1025, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. David A. Green & Christopher Worswick, 2004. "Immigrant earnings profiles in the presence of human capital investment: measuring cohort and macro effects," IFS Working Papers W04/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Bildungsleistungen von Migranten und deren Determinanten – Teil II: Primar-, Sekundar- und Tertiärbereich," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(10), pages 24-38, 05.
  7. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," Working Papers 2009-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Nong Zhu & Cecile Batisse, 2014. "Croissance, inégalités et pauvreté : le cas des immigrants au Canada," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-11, CIRANO.
  9. Carolyn M. Moehling & Anne Morrison Piehl, 2013. "Immigrant Assimilation into U.S. Prisons, 1900-1930," NBER Working Papers 19083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2008. "Inegalite et instabilite des gains chez les immigrants au Canada," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2008309f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  11. Pylypchuk, Yuriy, 2009. "Effects of immigration on the health insurance status of natives," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 1028-1037, September.

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