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Migration and Stratification

Author

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  • Jasso, Guillermina

    () (New York University)

Abstract

Migration and stratification are increasingly intertwined. One day soon it will be impossible to understand one without the other. Both focus on life chances. Stratification is about differential life chances – who gets what and why – and migration is about improving life chances – getting more of the good things of life. To examine the interconnections of migration and stratification, we address a mix of old and new questions, carrying out analyses newly enabled by a unique new data set on recent legal immigrants to the United States (the New Immigrant Survey). We look at immigrant processing and lost documents, depression due to the visa process, presentation of self, the race-ethnic composition of an immigrant cohort (made possible by the data for the first time since 1961), black immigration from Africa and the Americas, skin-color diversity among couples formed by U.S. citizen sponsors and immigrant spouses, and English fluency among children age 8-12 and their immigrant parents. We find, inter alia, that children of previously illegal parents are especially more likely to be fluent in English, that native-born U.S. citizen women tend to marry darker, that immigrant applicants who go through the visa process while already in the United States are more likely to have their documents lost and to suffer visa depression, and that immigration, by introducing accomplished black immigrants from Africa (notably via the visa lottery), threatens to overturn racial and skin color associations with skill. Our analyses show the mutual embeddedness of migration and stratification in the unfolding of the immigrants' and their children's life chances and the impacts on the stratification structure of the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Jasso, Guillermina, 2011. "Migration and Stratification," IZA Discussion Papers 5904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5904
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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp5904.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joni Hersch, 2008. "Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 345-386, April.
    2. Irma Elo & Neil Mehta & Cheng Huang, 2011. "Disability Among Native-born and Foreign-born Blacks in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 241-265, February.
    3. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:32095399 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Guillermina Jasso, 2009. "Ethnicity and the immigration of highly skilled workers to the United States," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 26-42, March.
    6. Glenn C. Loury, 2003. "Racial Stigma: Toward a New Paradigm for Discrimination Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 334-337, May.
    7. Leif Jensen & Jeffrey H. Cohen & Almeida Jacqueline Toribio & Gordon F. De Jong & Leila Rodríguez, 2006. "Ethnic Identities, Language, and Economic Outcomes Among Dominicans in a New Destination," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(s1), pages 1088-1099.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.100974_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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).
    10. Leif Jensen & Jeffrey H. Cohen & Almeida Jacqueline Toribio & Gordon F. De Jong & Leila Rodríguez, 2006. "Ethnic Identities, Language, and Economic Outcomes Among Dominicans in a New Destination," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1088-1099.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hilke Brockmann, 2012. "Das Glück der Migranten: eine Lebenslaufanalyse zum subjektiven Wohlbefinden von Migranten der ersten Generation in Deutschland," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 504, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Irma Elo & Elizabeth Frankenberg & Romeo Gansey & Duncan Thomas, 2015. "Africans in the American Labor Market," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1513-1542, October.
    3. Zhang, Wei & Hong, Seunghye & Takeuchi, David T. & Mossakowski, Krysia N., 2012. "Limited English proficiency and psychological distress among Latinos and Asian Americans," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 1006-1014.
    4. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Quispe-Agnoli, Myriam & Rios-Avila, Fernando, 2012. "The wage impact of undocumented workers," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2012-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    5. Kevin J. A. Thomas, 2016. "Highly Skilled Migration from Africa to the US: Exit Mechanisms, Demographic Determinants, and the Role of Socioeconomic Trends," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 35(6), pages 825-849, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    nativity premium; immigration; children of immigrants; immigrant visas; social stratification; gender; race; Hispanic origin; skin color; presentation of self; visa depression; New Immigrant Survey; illegal experience; English fluency; spouse selection;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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