The Earnings of Undocumented Immigrants
Over 11 million undocumented persons reside in the United States, and there has been a heated debate over the impact of legislative or executive efforts to regularize the status of this population. This paper examines the determinants of earnings for undocumented workers. Using newly developed methods that impute undocumented status for foreign-born persons sampled in microdata surveys, the study documents a number of findings. First, the age-earnings profile of undocumented workers lies far below that of legal immigrants and of native workers, and is almost perfectly flat during the prime working years. Second, the unadjusted gap in the log hourly wage between undocumented workers and natives is very large (around 40 percent), but half of this gap disappears once the calculation adjusts for differences in observable socioeconomic characteristics, particularly educational attainment. Finally, the adjusted wage of undocumented workers rose rapidly in the past decade. As a result, there was a large decline in the wage penalty associated with undocumented status. The relatively small magnitude of the current wage penalty suggests that a regularization program may only have a modest impact on the wage of undocumented workers.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2017|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
- Sarah Bohn & Magnus Lofstrom & Steven Raphael, 2015.
"Do E-verify mandates improve labor market outcomes of low-skilled native and legal immigrant workers?,"
Southern Economic Journal,
Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 960-979, April.
- Bohn, Sarah & Lofstrom, Magnus & Raphael, Steven, 2015. "Do E-Verify Mandates Improve Labor Market Outcomes of Low-Skilled Native and Legal Immigrant Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 9420, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2015. "The impact of E-Verify mandates on labor market outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 947-959, April.
- Robert Warren & Jeffrey Passel, 1987. "A Count of the Uncountable: Estimates of Undocumented Aliens Counted in the 1980 United States Census," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 24(3), pages 375-393, August.
- Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
- Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Julie L. Hotchkiss & Fernando Rios-Avila, 2013. "Identifying Factors behind the Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 257-275, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23236. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.