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The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market

In: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas

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  • Robert J. LaLonde
  • Robert H. Topel

Abstract

This paper reassesses the evidence on the assimilation and the changing labor market skills of immigrants to the United States. We find strong evidence of labor market assimilation for most immigrant groups. For Asian and Mexican immigrants the first ten years experience in the united States raise earnings by more than 20 percent. Further, this estimate may understate the actual rate of assimilation because of the sharp decline in the relative wages of unskilled U.S. workers. We also find little evidence of declining immigrant "quality" within ethnic groups. The diminished labor market skills of new immigrants result entirely from changes in the immigrants' countries of origin.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6906
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