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Persistent Occupational Hierarchies among Immigrant Worker Groups in the United States Labor Market

Listed author(s):
  • Postepska, Agnieszka

    ()

    (Georgetown University)

  • Vella, Francis

    ()

    (Georgetown University)

Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the phenomenon of occupational hierarchies among immigrant labor groups in the United States. Using census data for 1940-2011 we document the persistent ranking of immigrant labor groups in major metropolitan areas reflected by their position in the empirical distribution of occupations based on the corresponding Duncan Socioeconomic Index values. Having established the existence and persistence of these hierarchies across regions and time we estimate a structural model of the allocation of immigrant labor to the occupational distribution on the basis of employers' perception of their perceived productivity. The model estimates suggest that while human capital characteristics are relevant determinants of location in the occupational distribution the key factor, and the cause of persistence, is the presence of immigrant networks in regional labor markets.

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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10514.

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    Length: 58 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10514
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    1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    2. Gourieroux, C. & Monfort, A. & Renault, E., 1992. "Indirect Inference," Papers 92.279, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    3. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
    4. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Eriksson, Stefan & Lagerström, Jonas, 2007. "Detecting discrimination in the hiring process: Evidence from an Internet-based search channel," Working Paper Series 2007:29, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    7. Schwab, Stewart, 1986. "Is Statistical Discrimination Efficient?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 228-234, March.
    8. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," NBER Working Papers 7578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 19844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    11. Joseph G. Altonji & Anthony Smith & Ivan Vidangos, 2009. "Modeling Earnings Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 14743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 12497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Patel, Krishna & Vella, Francis, 2007. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 3217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
    16. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    17. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
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