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Skilled Immigrant Women in the US and the Double Earnings Penalty


  • Mary J. Lopez


Although a large literature exists on the United States labor market experiences of low-skilled immigrant men, relatively few studies have examined the labor market position of highly skilled immigrant women. The current study explores the issue of labor market discrimination and examines the extent to which highly skilled immigrant women experience an earnings disadvantage as a result of both gender status and nativity status. Relying on data from the 2000 US Decennial Census 5-Percent Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample and using an augmented Oaxaca decomposition technique, this study finds that highly skilled immigrant women do experience a double earnings penalty. In addition, the results suggest that nativity status explains a larger portion of the double earnings penalty than gender status. These findings are important in light of the higher emigration rates for skilled women than for skilled men in regions such as Africa, Latin America, and Oceania.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary J. Lopez, 2012. "Skilled Immigrant Women in the US and the Double Earnings Penalty," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 99-134, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:18:y:2012:i:1:p:99-134
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2012.658429

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    Cited by:

    1. Julie Park & Stephanie Nawyn & Megan Benetsky, 2015. "Feminized Intergenerational Mobility Without Assimilation? Post-1965 U.S. Immigrants and the Gender Revolution," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1601-1626, October.
    2. Marlene Kim, 2013. "Race and ethnicity in the workplace," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 14, pages 218-235 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Daniela Piazzalunga, 2015. "Is There a Double-Negative Effect? Gender and Ethnic Wage Differentials in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(3), pages 243-269, September.

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