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The Effects of Ethnic Capital and Age of Arrival on the Standard of Living of Young Immigrants


  • Jeremy Sandford

    (University of Wisconsin)

  • Michael C. Seeborg

    (Illinois Wesleyan University)


This paper uses a sample of 30 year old male immigrants from the 1990 Census PUMS data to explore the effects that age of arrival and ethnic capital have on the standard of living of immigrants. It finds that both time of arrival and ethnic capital affect immigrants’ standard of living through a set of interaction effects and indirect effects. In particular, immigrants who arrive as children enjoy greater returns to human capital investments than immigrants who arrive as young adults. Moreover, immigrants who arrive as children are affected less than young adult immigrants by the ethnic capital of the group that they join in the United States. Further, age of arrival and ethnic capital are found to have indirect effects on immigrants’ standard of living through their influence on educational attainment and language proficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Sandford & Michael C. Seeborg, 2003. "The Effects of Ethnic Capital and Age of Arrival on the Standard of Living of Young Immigrants," Journal of Economic Insight (formerly the Journal of Economics (MVEA)), Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 27-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:mve:journl:v:29:y:2003:i:1:p:27-48

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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