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Mexican Immigrants, the Labor Market and the Current Population Survey: Seasonality Effects, Framing Effects, and Sensitivity of Results

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  • Lozano, Fernando A.

    () (Pomona College)

  • Sorensen, Todd A.

    () (University of Nevada, Reno)

Abstract

In this paper we compare estimates of immigrants’ labor supply assimilation profiles using the Current Population Survey Annual Demographic Files (March ADS) and the Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Groups (ORGs). We use a measure that is seemingly consistent across both surveys: usual weekly hours of work in the main job. Our results indicate that the two surveys produce dramatically different estimates of the change in average hours of work as immigrants’ years in the United States increase: estimates from the March ADS predict much steeper hour’s assimilation profiles than do estimates obtained from the ORGs. We argue that these differences stem from two separate factors that differentiate the data. First, the ADS and ORG frame the usual hours worked question differently. Also, differences in the timing of the surveys may produce seasonality effects that differentially affect the composition of recent and earlier migrants, thereby changing assimilation profiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Lozano, Fernando A. & Sorensen, Todd A., 2008. "Mexican Immigrants, the Labor Market and the Current Population Survey: Seasonality Effects, Framing Effects, and Sensitivity of Results," IZA Discussion Papers 3301, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    2. 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.
    3. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    4. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    5. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    6. David Card & Ethan G. Lewis, 2007. "The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 193-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-245, April.
    8. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2007. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 229-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-727, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    hours of work; March CPS; CPS outgoing rotations; immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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