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Ethnicity and the Immigration of Highly Skilled Workers to the United States

Author

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  • Jasso, Guillermina

    () (New York University)

Abstract

This paper examines ethnicity among highly skilled immigrants to the United States. The paper focuses on five classic components of ethnicity – country of birth, race, skin color, language, and religion – among persons admitted to legal permanent residence in the United States in 2003 in the three main employment categories (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3), using data collected in the U.S. New Immigrant Survey. Initial findings include: (1) The visa categories have distinctive ethnic configurations. India dominates EB-2 and European countries EB-1. (2) The ethnicity portfolio contains more languages than religions. (3) Language is shed before religion, and religion may not be shed at all, except among the ultra highly skilled of EB-1. (4) Highly skilled immigrants are mostly male; they are not immune from lapsing into illegality; they have a shorter visa process than their cohortmates; smaller proportions than in the cohort overall intend to remain in the United States. (5) Larger proportions in EB-2 and EB-3 sent remittances than in the cohort overall. (6) A little measure of assimilation – using dollars to describe earnings in the country of last residence, even when requested to use the country's currency – suggests that highly skilled immigrants are more likely to "think in dollars" than their cohortmates. Further work is taking a deeper look at these patterns in a multivariate context, attentive to selectivity processes and the Globalista impulse.

Suggested Citation

  • Jasso, Guillermina, 2009. "Ethnicity and the Immigration of Highly Skilled Workers to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3950, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3950
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 424-433, 04-05.
    2. Docquier, Frédéric & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "Measuring Skilled Emigration Rates: The Case of Small States," IZA Discussion Papers 3388, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Yoko Niimi & Caglar Ozden & Maurice Schiff, 2010. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Skilled Migrants Do Remit Less," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 97-98, pages 123-141.
    4. Jasso, Guillermina & Massey, Douglas S. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Smith, James P., 2008. "From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2000. "The Changing Skill of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 185-226 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," Post-Print halshs-00754788, HAL.
    2. Roman, Monica & Goschin, Zizi, 2011. "Does religion matter? Exploring economic performance differences among Romanian emigrants," MPRA Paper 31779, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Moshe Semyonov & Rebeca Raijman & Dina Maskileyson, 2015. "Ethnicity and Labor Market Incorporation of Post-1990 Immigrants in Israel," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(3), pages 331-359, June.
    4. Zizi Goschin & Monica Roman, 2011. "Religious Affiliation And Economic Performance Of Romanian Emigrants. An Empirical Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa11p686, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Jasso, Guillermina, 2011. "Migration and Stratification," IZA Discussion Papers 5904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Seele, Peter, 2011. ""If your letter was in German, I would not understand a bit, and would have ignored that": Preliminary findings from a survey of highly skilled migrants from India and China with working/edu," Wittener Diskussionspapiere zu alten und neuen Fragen der Wirtschaftswissenschaft 14/2011, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    language; race; ethnicity; illegal immigration; highly skilled immigration; employment immigration; immigrant selection criteria; immigration policy; religion; remittances; assimilation; globalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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