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Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

This paper uses the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Public Use Samples of the U.S. Census to document what happened to immigrant earnings in the 1980s, and to determine if pre-1980 immigrant flows reached earnings parity with natives. The relative entry wage of successive immigrant cohorts declined by 9 percent in the 1970s, and by an additional 6 percent in the 1980s. Although the relative wage of immigrants grows by 10 percent during the first two decades after arrival, the relative wage of post-1970 immigrants will remain 15 to 20 percent below those of natives throughout much of their working lives.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4866
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    1. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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