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Do Immigrants Work in Worse Jobs than U.S. Natives? Evidence from California

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  • Madeline Zavodny

Abstract

type="main" xml:id="irel12087-abs-0001"> In the debate over immigration reform, a common assertion is that immigrants take jobs that U.S. natives do not want. Using data from the 2000 Census merged with O NET data on occupation characteristics, I show that the jobs held by immigrants are more physically arduous than the jobs held by U.S. natives. However, data from the California Work and Health Survey on self-reported physical job demands indicate that immigrants do not perceive their jobs as requiring more physical effort than U.S. natives. Immigrants thus have worse jobs than natives but do not view them as such.

Suggested Citation

  • Madeline Zavodny, 2015. "Do Immigrants Work in Worse Jobs than U.S. Natives? Evidence from California," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 276-293, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:indres:v:54:y:2015:i:2:p:276-293
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/irel.2015.54.issue-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barry Chiswick & Paul Miller, 2010. "Occupational language requirements and the value of English in the US labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 353-372, January.
    2. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
    3. Alberto Dávila & Marie T. Mora & Rebecca González, 2011. "English-Language Proficiency and Occupational Risk Among Hispanic Immigrant Men in the United States," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 263-296, April.
    4. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 2010. "Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    6. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    7. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Constant, Amelie F. & García-Muñoz, Teresa & Neuman, Shoshana & Neuman, Tzahi, 2014. "Micro and Macro Determinants of Health: Older Immigrants in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 8754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. repec:spr:jlabre:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12122-018-9269-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Do immigrants improve the health of native workers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 102-102, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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