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Workplace Concentration of Immigrants

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  • Fredrik Andersson
  • Mónica García-Pérez
  • John C. Haltiwanger
  • Kristin McCue
  • Seth Sanders

Abstract

To what extent do immigrants and the native-born work in separate workplaces? Do worker and firm characteristics explain the degree of workplace concentration? We explore these questions using a matched employer-employee database that extensively covers employers in selected MSAs. We find that immigrants are much more likely to have immigrant coworkers than are natives, and are particularly likely to work with their compatriots. We find much higher levels of concentration for small businesses than for large ones, that concentration varies substantially across industries, and that concentration is particularly high among immigrants with limited English skills. We also find evidence that neighborhood job networks are strongly positively associated with concentration. The effects of networks and language remain strong when type is defined by country of origin rather than simply immigrant status. The importance of these factors varies by immigrant country of origin—for example, not speaking English well has a particularly strong association with concentration for immigrants from Asian countries. Controlling for differences across MSAs, we find that observable employer and employee characteristics account for almost half of the difference between immigrants and natives in the likelihood of having immigrant coworkers, with differences in industry, residential segregation and English speaking skills being the most important factors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16544.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16544

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  1. Cabrales Goitia Antonio & Calvó-Armengol Antoni & Pavoni Nicola, 2007. "Social Preferences, Skill Segregation and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation 201053, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  2. Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2006. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," Working Papers 060710, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. Hellerstein, Judith K. & McInerney, Melissa & Neumark, David, 2008. "Measuring the Importance of Labor Market Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 3750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
  6. Åslund, Olof & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2005. "Measuring conditional segregation: methods and empirical examples," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2005:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2002. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 2002-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Harry J. Holzer, 1987. "Hiring Procedures in the Firm: Their Economic Determinants and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lang, Kevin, 1986. "A Language Theory of Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 363-82, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Udo Kreickemeier & Jens Wrona, . "Two-way Migration Between Similar Countries," Discussion Papers 11/07, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2014. "Firms and the Economics of Skilled Immigration," Harvard Business School Working Papers, Harvard Business School 14-102, Harvard Business School.
  3. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2013. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of U.S. Firms," NBER Working Papers 19658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:cen:wpaper:11-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Ana Damas de Matos, 2012. "The careers of immigrants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 51515, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Liliana D. Sousa, 2013. "Human Capital Traps? Enclave Effects Using Linked Employer-Household Data," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 13-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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