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Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys

Author

Listed:
  • Barth, Erling

    (Institute for Social Research in Oslo)

  • Bratsberg, Bernt

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Raaum, Oddbjørn

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

Abstract

We provide evidence on wage profiles of immigrants using CPS data from 1979 to 2001, taking into account that changes in labor market conditions impact natives and immigrants differently. High rates of immigrant wage assimilation in general, and relatively high wages of immigrant cohorts that arrived during the 1990s in particular, can largely be explained by a negative trend in unemployment in the data. Relating immigrant and native period effects to local labor market unemployment, we find that wage assimilation among lesser-educated immigrants is negligible and that the immigrant-native wage gap is strongly increasing in unemployment. For highly educated immigrants, rates of wage assimilation during early years in the United States are higher the lower is unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Barth, Erling & Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn, 2003. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," Memorandum 20/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2002_020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; unemployment; assimilation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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