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The Labor Market Skills of Recent Male Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

Author

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  • Edward Funkhouser
  • Stephen J. Trejo

Abstract

Using data from special supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS), the authors track the education and hourly earnings of recent male immigrants to the United States. In terms of these measures of labor market skills, the CPS data suggest that immigrants who came in the late 1980s were more skilled than those who arrived earlier in the decade. This pattern represents a break from the steady decline in immigrant skill levels observed in 1940–80 Census data. Despite the encouraging trend over the 1980s, however, the average skills of recent immigrants remain low by historical standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Funkhouser & Stephen J. Trejo, 1995. "The Labor Market Skills of Recent Male Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 792-811, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:48:y:1995:i:4:p:792-811
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    Cited by:

    1. Armando J. Garcia Pires, 2015. "Brain Drain And Brain Waste," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(1), pages 1-34, March.
    2. George J. Borjas, 2000. "The Economic Progress of Immigrants," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 15-50, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 2000. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 51-116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," Working Papers 2009-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. George J. Borjas, 2015. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 483-517.
    6. 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.
    7. Fahad Gill & Waseem Ahmad, 2019. "The Earnings Disadvantage of 21st Century Immigrants in the United States," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 64(1), pages 31-44, March.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case," IZA Discussion Papers 3563, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. 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.
    10. Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 2007. "The legacy of immigration: labour market performance and education in the second generation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(15), pages 1985-2009.
    11. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Özden, Çağlar, 2012. "Performance of skilled migrants in the U.S.: A dynamic approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 829-843.
    12. Anna Rosso, 2016. "Skill Transferability and Immigrant-Native Wage Gaps," Development Working Papers 405, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 21 Oct 2016.
    13. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
    14. Duleep, Harriet Orcutt & Regets, Mark C., 1997. "The decline in immigrant entry earnings: Less transferable skills or lower ability?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 189-208.
    15. Kar, Saibal, 2009. "International labor migration, asymmetric information and occupational choice," MPRA Paper 24106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kugler, Adriana & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2008. "Do Recent Latino Immigrants Compete for Jobs with Native Hispanics and Earlier Latino Immigrants?," MPRA Paper 69703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Hamid Beladi & Saibal Kar, 2015. "Skilled and Unskilled Immigrants and Entrepreneurship in a Developed Country," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 666-682, August.
    19. Kar, Saibal & Mukherjee, Vivekananda, 2006. "Entrepreneurial culture, occupational choice and tax policy," MPRA Paper 24104, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Khan, Aliya Hashmi, 1997. "Post-migration investment in education by immigrants in the United States," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 285-313.
    21. Edward J. Schumacher, 2011. "Foreign‐born nurses in the US labor market," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 362-378, March.
    22. Richard Fry, 1996. "Has The Quality Of Immigrants Declined? Evidence From The Labor Market Attachment Of Immigrants And Natives," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 53-70, July.
    23. Cohen, Yinon & Zach, Tzippi & Chiswick, Barry, 1997. "The educational attainment of immigrants: Changes over time," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 229-243.
    24. James Ted Mcdonald & Christopher Worswick, 1999. "The Earnings of Immigrant Men in Australia: Assimilation, Cohort Effects, and Macroeconomic Conditions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(1), pages 49-62, March.
    25. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2000. "The Changing Skill of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 185-226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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