Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings
AbstractThis study uses Social Security earnings records matched to recent cross-sections of the SIPP and CPS to study the earnings progress of U.S. immigrants.The data show that immigrants' earnings grow 10 to 13 percent during their first twenty years in the U.S. relative to the earnings of natives with similar labor market experience. By comparison, estimates of immigrants' relative wage growth from cross-sections of the decennial Census are substantially higher. The divergent results reflect the selective outmigration of low--earning immigrants. The longitudinal earnings histories also show that 14 percent of immigrants have earnings in the U.S. prior to their most recent date of arrival, which points to a significant amount of back-and-forth migration between the U.S. and immigrants' home countries. The misclassification in previous work of these largely low-wage immigrants as recent arrivals accounts for close to one-third of the measured decline in the level of earnings of immigrant arrival cohorts between 1960 and 1980. The new evidence presented here, therefore, suggests that previous analyses had overestimated both the rate of earnings growth among immigrants who remain in the U.S. and the secular decline in the level of earnings across arrival cohorts.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0004006.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 27 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on Unix Latex2e; to print on HP/PostScript/; pages: 39; figures: included
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Immigrant earnings; longitudinal data; labor markets; wages; censored least absolute deviation model;
Other versions of this item:
- Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
- Lubotsky, D., 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Papers 195, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
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