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Mexican Immigrants, the Labor Market and the Current Population Survey: Seasonality Effects, Framing Effects, and Sensitivity of Results

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  • Lozano, Fernando A.

    ()
    (Pomona College)

  • Sorensen, Todd A.

    ()
    (University of Nevada, Reno)

Abstract

In this paper we compare estimates of immigrants’ labor supply assimilation profiles using the Current Population Survey Annual Demographic Files (March ADS) and the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups (ORGs). We use a measure that is seemingly consistent across both surveys: usual weekly hours of work in the main job. Our results indicate that the two surveys produce dramatically different estimates of the change in average hours of work as immigrants’ years in the United States increase: estimates from the March ADS predict much steeper hour’s assimilation profiles than do estimates obtained from the ORGs. We argue that these differences stem from two separate factors that differentiate the data. First, the ADS and ORG frame the usual hours worked question differently. Also, differences in the timing of the surveys may produce seasonality effects that differentially affect the composition of recent and earlier migrants, thereby changing assimilation profiles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3301.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "Mexican Immigrants, Labour Market Assimilation and the Current Population: The Sensitivity of Results Across Seemingly Equivalent Surveys" in: International Migration, 2012, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3301

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Keywords: immigration; March CPS; CPS outgoing rotations; hours of work;

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  1. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-73, October.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  4. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Card & Ethan Lewis, 2005. "The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0504, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  10. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  11. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
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