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Immigration and Wages: Evidence from the 1980's

Listed author(s):
  • Butcher, Kristin F
  • Card, David

More immigrants entered the United States during the l980s than in any comparable period since the 1920s. Although at a national level the inflow rates were relatively modest, most of the newly arriving immigrants settled in only a handful of cities. In this paper, we study the effects of immigration during the 1980s on the evolution of wages within a sample of 24 major cities. We concentrate on changes in wages for relatively low-paid workers, and on changes in the gap between highly-paid and low-paid workers. Our analysis reveals significant differences across cities in the relative growth rates of wages for low-paid and highly-paid workers. However, the relative growth rates of wages at the low end of the earnings distribution bear little or no relation to the relative size of immigrant inflows to different cities.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 81 (1991)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 292-296

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:81:y:1991:i:2:p:292-96
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