Immigrant Worker Assimilation: Is It a Labor Market Phenomenon?
The work in this paper contributes to the debate on the economic assimilation of immigrant workers in the U.S. labor market. A model of simultaneous occupational choice and earnings is estimated for foreign born Hispanic men, foreign born East Asian men and for native white men to test the general hypotheses of assimilation. An important distinction is made between those who migrated as adults and those who migrated as children. The results suggest that the appearance of assimilation may be the outcome of pre-labor market experiences of individuals who migrate as children, along with changes in U.S. immigration law that have relaxed skill criteria for entering immigrants.
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