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Immigrants and the Labor Market

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  • James P. Smith

Abstract

The once-again rapidly expanding numbers of immigrants in the American labor market has not escaped the attention of labor economists. In this paper, the author deals with two issues concerning immigrants on which labor economists have made significant contributions over the last few decades. The first question concerns what has happened to the skill gap between immigrants and Native-born Americans (see Borjas (1995) and Jasso, Rosenzweig, and Smith (2000)). This "what happened" question is followed by "why did it happen" and he offers his answers as to why. The second question concerns what has happened to the education dimension of the skill gap for descendants of immigrants- assimilation across generations. An important form in which this question has been asked is how the recent waves of ethnic immigrants compare with the reality of the generational success of European immigrant experience, a success that has shaped much of mythology surrounding the American immigrant experience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 321.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:321

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 1998. "The Changing Skills of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Working Papers 6764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Recent immigrants: Unexpected implications for crime and incarceration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 654-679, July.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Dustmann & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Ethnic Minority Immigrants and their Children in Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0610, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," NBER Working Papers 15406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carolyn Moehling & Anne Piehl, 2014. "Immigrant assimilation into US prisons, 1900–1930," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 173-200, January.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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