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The occupational assimilation of Hispanics in the U.S.: evidence from panel data

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  • Maude Toussaint-Comeau
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    Abstract

    This study investigates whether Hispanic immigrants assimilate in occupational status with natives and the factors that determine occupational status. A theoretical framework is proposed that models occupational status and convergence of Hispanics relative to U.S.-born non-Hispanics as a function of human capital and demographic exogenous variables, U.S. experience (assimilation effects) and periods of migration (cohort effects). In addition, the model also controls for aggregate economic conditions and location effects. The empirical testing is based on a random effects model estimation procedure to accommodate the longitudinal PSID panel data used in the analysis. The results suggest that length of time resided in the U.S. narrows the occupational gap between Hispanic immigrants and non- Hispanic Whites and U.S.- born Hispanic counterparts. ; The level of individuals’ human capital affects the rate of occupational mobility and determines whether convergence occurs in occupational status. Mexican immigrants with low human capital start in occupations with relatively low status and they do not experience much occupational mobility. Their occupational status does not converge with that of non-Hispanic or U.S.-born Hispanic counterparts. However, Mexican immigrants with high human capital experience occupational mobility, and catch up with non-Hispanic Whites after 15 years and with U.S.-born Hispanics after 10 years of working in the U.S.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-04-15.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-04-15

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    Keywords: Hispanic Americans - Population ; Immigrants ; Labor mobility ; Labor market;

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    References

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    1. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-92, April.
    2. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
    3. Green, David A, 1999. "Immigrant Occupational Attainment: Assimilation and Mobility over Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 49-79, January.
    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. Brian P. McCall, 1988. "Occupational Matching: A Test of Sorts," Working Papers 617, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    8. Charles Brown & Greg J. Duncan & Frank P. Stafford, 1996. "Data Watch: The Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 155-168, Spring.
    9. Morales, Rebecca & Ong, Paul M., 1990. "Immigrant Women in Los Angeles," Institute for Social Science Research, Working Paper Series qt52d1c4hh, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA.
    10. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
    11. LaLonde, Robert J & Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 297-302, May.
    12. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
    13. Fernando Ramos, 1992. "Out-Migration and Return Migration of Puerto Ricans," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 49-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gilles Grenier & Li Xue, 2009. "Duration of Access of Canadian Immigrants to the First Job in Intended Occupation," Working Papers 0908E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. Fertig, Michael & Schurer, Stefanie, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany: The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 2915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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