IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7304.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Empirical Characteristics of Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the U.S

Author

Listed:
  • Caponi, Vincenzo

    () (CREST)

  • Plesca, Miana

    () (University of Guelph)

Abstract

We combine the New Immigrant Survey (NIS), which contains information on US legal immigrants, with the American Community Survey (ACS), which contains information on legal and illegal immigrants to the U.S. Using econometric methodology proposed by Lancaster and Imbens (1996) we compute the probability for each observation in the ACS data to refer to an illegal immigrant, conditional on observed characteristics. The results for illegal versus legal immigrants are novel, since no other work has quantified the characteristics of illegal immigrants from a random sample. We find that, compared to legal immigrants, illegal immigrants are more likely to be less educated, males, and married with their spouse not present. These results are heterogeneous across education categories, country of origin (Mexico) and whether professional occupations are included or not in the analysis. Forecasts for the distribution of legal and illegal characteristics match aggregate imputations by the Department of Homeland Security. We find that, while illegal immigrants suffer a wage penalty compared to legal immigrants, returns to higher education remain large and positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Caponi, Vincenzo & Plesca, Miana, 2013. "Empirical Characteristics of Legal and Illegal Immigrants in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7304
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7304.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Lancaster, Tony & Imbens, Guido, 1996. "Case-control studies with contaminated controls," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 145-160.
    3. Gary Burtless & Audrey Singer, 2011. "The Earnings and Social Security Contributions of Documented and Undocumented Mexican Immigrants," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2011.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Pinotti, 2017. "Clicking on Heaven's Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 138-168, January.
    2. Michael Good, 2012. "How Localized is the Pro-trade Effect of Immigration? Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Working Papers 1203, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    3. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2016. "Do state work eligibility verification laws reduce unauthorized immigration?," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, December.
    4. Michael Good, 2013. "Gravity and Localized Migration," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2445-2453.
    5. Michael Good, 2013. "Geographic Proximity and the Pro-trade Effect of Migration: State-level Evidence from Mexican Migrants in the United States," 2013 Papers pgo530, Job Market Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    legal immigrants; illegal immigrants; contaminated controls;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7304. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.