Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life
Using data from the Current Population Survey and the New Immigrant Survey, this paper examines the common perception that immigrants are concentrated in high-risk jobs for which they receive little wage compensation. Compared to native U.S. workers, non-Mexican immigrants are not at higher risk and have substantial values of statistical life. However, Mexican immigrants incur much higher fatality risks than native U.S. workers and do not receive wage compensation for these risks. Mexican immigrants who do not understand English fare especially poorly. The evidence is consistent with Mexican immigrants facing different wage offer curves.
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