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Immigration and the Quality of Jobs


  • Daniel S. Hamermesh


A precondition for the absence of labor-market competition between immigrants and natives is that they differ in their willingness to accept work that offers different amenities. The implications of a model embodying this assumption are that immigrants will be observed experiencing inferior workplace amenities than natives, and that the presence of immigrants will affect the amenities natives enjoy. I examine these possibilities on three sets of household data: The merged May and June 1991 Current Population Surveys, giving information on the timing of work over the day by nativity; the June 1991 CPS merged with industry data on workplace injury rates and durations; and the Quality of American Life Surveys of 1971 and 1978, providing workers' responses about their satisfaction with particular aspects of their jobs. The analysis clearly shows that observationally similar immigrants and native whites enjoy very similar packages of amenities: The precondition for noncompetition between immigrants and natives does not exist. Also, a greater immigrant concentration has no consistent effect on the amenities natives enjoy. African-Americans, however, receive a set of workplace amenities that is inferior to that of otherwise similar native whites and immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1997. "Immigration and the Quality of Jobs," NBER Working Papers 6195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6195
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Klaus F. Zimmermann, "undated". "Wage and Mobility Effects of Trade and Migration," Working Papers _001, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1993. "The Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 113-135, January.
    3. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Wolfe, John R, 1990. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Duration of Wage Loss," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 175-197, January.
    4. Charles Brown, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-134.
    5. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yogo, Urbain Thierry, 2011. "Social Network and Job Quality: Evidence from Cameroon," MPRA Paper 44936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Corrêa, Márcio Veras & Centeno, Mário, 2009. "Progresso Tecnológico e Qualidade Média das Parcerias Produtivas," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 63(4), December.
    3. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:19116209 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Immigration and Job Disamenities," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 20-26, 07.
    5. Bauer, Thomas K. & Million, Andreas & Rotte, Ralph & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "Immigration Labor and Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 16, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand


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