Empirical Characteristics of Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the U.S
AbstractWe combine the New Immigrant Survey (NIS), which contains information on US legal immigrants, with the American Community Survey (ACS), which contains information on legal and illegal immigrants to the U.S. Using econometric methodology proposed by Lancaster and Imbens (1996) we compute the probability for each observation in the ACS data to refer to an illegal immigrant, conditional on observed characteristics. The results for illegal versus legal immigrants are novel, since no other work has quantified the characteristics of illegal immigrants from a random sample. We find that, compared to legal immigrants, illegal immigrants are more likely to be less educated, males, and married with their spouse not present. These results are heterogeneous across education categories, country of origin (Mexico) and whether professional occupations are included or not in the analysis. Forecasts for the distribution of legal and illegal characteristics match aggregate imputations by the Department of Homeland Security. We find that, while illegal immigrants suffer a wage penalty compared to legal immigrants, returns to higher education remain large and positive.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7304.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Vincenzo Caponi, 2013. "Empirical Characteristics of Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the U.S," Kiel Working Papers 1835, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-04-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-IUE-2013-04-06 (Informal & Underground Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2013-04-06 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary Burtless & Audrey Singer, 2011. "The Earnings and Social Security Contributions of Documented and Undocumented Mexican Immigrants," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2011.
- Imbens, G. & Lancaster, T., 1993.
"Case-Control Studies with Contaminated Controls,"
1993-7, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Imbens, G. & Lancaster, T., 1993. "Case-Control Studies with Contaminated Controls," Papers 9307, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Imbens, G. & Lancaster, T., 1992. "Case-Control Studies with Contaminated Controls," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1612, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Michael Good, 2013. "Geographic Proximity and the Pro-trade Effect of Migration: State-level Evidence from Mexican Migrants in the United States," 2013 Papers pgo530, Job Market Papers.
- Michael Good, 2013. "Gravity and Localized Migration," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2445-2453.
- Michael Good, 2012. "How Localized is the Pro-trade Effect of Immigration? Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Working Papers 1203, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
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