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The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again

  • George J. Borjas

This paper examines the evolution of immigrant earnings in the United States between 1970 and 2010. There are cohort effects not only in wage levels, with more recent cohorts having lower entry wages through 1990, but also in the rate of wage growth, with more recent cohorts experiencing less economic assimilation. The slowdown in assimilation is partly related to a concurrent decline in the rate at which the new immigrants add to their human capital stock, as measured by English language proficiency. The data also suggest that the rate of economic assimilation is significantly lower for larger national origin groups.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19116.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as George J. Borjas, 2015. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," Journal of Human Capital, vol 9(4), pages 483-517.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19116
Note: LS
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  1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj92-1, June.
  2. Robert F. Schoeni, 1997. "New Evidence on the Economic Progress of Foreign-Born Men in the 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 683-740.
  3. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  4. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  5. George J. Borjas & Rachel M. Friedberg, 2009. "Recent Trends in the Earnings of New Immigrants to the United States," Working Papers 2009-13, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
  7. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
  8. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 18011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Erling Barth & Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2004. "Identifying Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants under Changing Macroeconomic Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  10. Green, David A, 1999. "Immigrant Occupational Attainment: Assimilation and Mobility over Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 49-79, January.
  11. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn & Stephen Trejo, 2006. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Sources of Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada and the United States," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0603, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  12. 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.
  13. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
  14. Edward Funkhouser & Stephen J. Trejo, 1995. "The Labor Market Skills of Recent Male Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 792-811, July.
  15. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Linguistic Distance: A Quantitative Measure of the Distance Between English and Other Languages," IZA Discussion Papers 1246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. George J. Borjas, 2000. "Issues in the Economics of Immigration," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj00-1, June.
  17. George J. Borjas, 2000. "Introduction to "Issues in the Economics of Immigration"," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Darren Lubotsky, 2001. "The Effect of Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure on Recent Immigrants' Earnings," Labor and Demography 0110003, EconWPA.
  19. 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 463-89, October.
  20. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," NBER Working Papers 4866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Harriet Duleep & Daniel Dowhan, 2002. "Insights from longitudinal data on the earnings growth of U.S. foreign-born men," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 485-506, August.
  23. Michael Beenstock & Barry Chiswick & Ari Paltiel, 2010. "Testing the immigrant assimilation hypothesis with longitudinal data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 7-27, March.
  24. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  25. repec:zbw:rwirep:0337 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-92, April.
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