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The Economic Progress of Immigrants

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical and empirical study of the economic progress experienced by immigrants in the U.S. labor market. The theoretical framework illustrates that the relationship between the entry wage of immigrants and the subsequent rate of wage growth depends on the technology of the human capital production function, particularly the extent of substitution or complementarity between pre-existing' human capital and post-migration investments. The empirical analysis uses the 1970-1990 decennial Census data. The evidence indicates that the correlation between the log entry wage and the rate of wage growth is positive but this correlation is weakened and perhaps turns negative when we compare immigrants who start out in the United States with similar human capital endowments. The empirical analysis also indicates that the same source country characteristics that lead to high wages at the time of entry also lead to faster wage growth.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 1998. "The Economic Progress of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 6506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof Åslund, 2004. "Settlement policies and the economic success of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 133-155, February.
    2. Huffman, Wallace, 2003. "Immigration in the U.S. Midwest During the 1990s: A Decade of Rapid Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11172, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2009. "Career placement of skilled migrants in the U.S. labor market : a dynamic approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4891, The World Bank.
    4. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1318-1347, December.
    5. Julia Bock-Schappelwein & Peter Huber, 2016. "Integrating Asylum Seekers in the Austrian Labour Market," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 89(3), pages 157-169, March.
    6. Andri Chassamboulli & Theodore Palivos, 2010. "“Give me your Tired, your Poor,” so I can Prosper: Immigration in Search Equilibrium," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 12-2010, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    7. Lena Nekby, 2006. "The emigration of immigrants, return vs onward migration: evidence from Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 197-226, June.
    8. Roger Wilkins, 2003. "Immigrant Earnings Adjustment: The Impact of Age at Migration," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 292-315, September.
    9. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
    10. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Post-Print hal-01629746, HAL.
    11. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Özden, Çağlar, 2012. "Performance of skilled migrants in the U.S.: A dynamic approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 829-843.
    12. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    13. Moshe Semyonov & Rebeca Raijman & Dina Maskileyson, 2015. "Ethnicity and Labor Market Incorporation of Post-1990 Immigrants in Israel," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(3), pages 331-359, June.
    14. Zvi Eckstein & Yoram Weiss, 2004. "On The Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 665-695, June.
    15. Dai, Tiantian & Liu, Xiangbo & Xie, Biancen, 2013. "The impact of immigrants on host country crime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 157-161.
    16. John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "Changing Patterns in the Relative Economic Performance of Immigrants to Great Britain and the U.S., 1980-2000," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2006-07, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    17. Domeland, Dorte, 2007. "Trade and human capital accumulation: evidence from U.S. immigrants," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4144, The World Bank.
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5382 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Immigration and crime: an empirical analysis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 698, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    20. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Do immigrants cause crime?," Working Papers halshs-00586864, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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