IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pri/indrel/458.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effect of Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure on Recent Immigrants' Earnings

Author

Listed:
  • Darren Lubotsky

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

Since recent immigrants tend to earn less than natives, their relative labor market status has been adversely impacted by an increase in the return to labor market skills and widening wage inequality over the past two decades. To evaluate the magnitude of this effect, this study uses Social Security earnings records matched to recent cross sections of the SIPP and CPS to estimate the change in the return to skills among native born workers. This is then used to adjust the earnings gap between immigrants and natives in order to estimate what the gap would have been if the return to skills had remained at its 1980 level. The results suggest that the return to skills rose by 40 percent between 1980 and 1997, leading to a 10 to 15 percentage point decrease in the relative earnings of recent immigrants. Thus examining solely the earnings of recent immigrants may lead to an overly pessimistic picture of their actual labor market skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Darren Lubotsky, 2001. "The Effect of Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure on Recent Immigrants' Earnings," Working Papers 837, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:458
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dataspace.princeton.edu/bitstream/88435/dsp01js956f82d/1/458.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Borjas, George J. & Freeman, Richard B. (ed.), 1992. "Immigration and the Work Force," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226066332, December.
    2. Kristin F. Butcher & John Dinardo, 2002. "The Immigrant and Native-Born Wage Distributions: Evidence from United States Censuses," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 97-121, October.
    3. 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.
    4. George J. Borjas, 2021. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 2, pages 3-29, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Per-Anders Edin & Robert J. LaLonde & Olof Aslund, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 0020, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    6. Card, David & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Wage dispersion, returns to skill, and black-white wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 319-361, October.
    7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    8. 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.
    9. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    10. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
    11. repec:pri:rpdevs:lubotsky_chutes_or_ladders is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:pri:rpdevs:lubotsky_chutes_or_ladders.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
    15. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    16. Darren Lubotsky, 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Working Papers 824, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937," NBER Working Papers 13345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn & Stephen J. Trejo, 2006. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities?: Sources of Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Mukhopadhyay, Sankar, 2018. "Comparing Wage Gains from Different Immigrant Legalization Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 11525, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Eva Moreno‐Galbis & Jeremy Tanguy & Ahmed Tritah & Catherine Laffineur, 2019. "Immigrants’ Wage Performance in a Routine Biased Technological Change Era: France 1994–2012," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 623-673, October.
    8. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    9. George J. Borjas, 2021. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 3, pages 31-65, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hanel, Barbara & McVicar, Duncan, 2012. "Immigrant Wage and Employment Assimilation: A Comparison of Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 7062, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Randall Akee & Maggie R. Jones, 2019. "Immigrants' Earnings Growth and Return Migration from the U.S.: Examining their Determinants using Linked Survey and Administrative Data," Working Papers 19-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2015. "Assessing the Socioeconomic Mobility and Integration of U.S. Immigrants and Their Descendants," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 657(1), pages 108-135, January.
    13. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter J. & Trejo, Stephen, 2003. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Labor Market Institutions and Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 802, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Christian Dustmann & Hyejin Ku & Tanya Surovtseva, 2021. "Real Exchange Rates and the Earnings of Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2110, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Darren Lubotsky, 2001. "The Effect of Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure on Recent Immigrants' Earnings," Working Papers 837, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Merja Kauhanen & Mari Kangasniemi, 2012. "Who leaves and who stays? Outmigration of Estonian immigrants from Finland and its impact on economic assimilation of Estonian immigrants in Finland," Working Papers 282, Työn ja talouden tutkimus LABORE, The Labour Institute for Economic Research LABORE.
    3. Seik Kim, "undated". "Economic Assimilation of Foreign-Born Workers in the United States: An Overlapping Rotating Panel Analysis," Working Papers UWEC-2008-19, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    4. George J. Borjas, 2021. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 3, pages 31-65, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    6. Longva, Pal, 2001. "Out-migration of immigrants : implications for assimilation analysis," Memorandum 04/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. Bellemare, Charles, 2007. "A life-cycle model of outmigration and economic assimilation of immigrants in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 553-576, April.
    8. Dustmann, Christian & Görlach, Joseph-Simon, 2016. "Estimating immigrant earnings profiles when migrations are temporary," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-8.
    9. Biavaschi, Costanza, 2016. "Recovering the counterfactual wage distribution with selective return migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 59-80.
    10. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
    11. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    12. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2014. "A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 467-506.
    13. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    14. Alcobendas, Miguel Angel & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2009. "Immigrants' Assimilation Process in a Segmented Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4394, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. 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.
    16. Jonathan A. Schwabish, 2009. "Identifying Rates of Emigration in the United States Using Administrative Earnings Records: Working Paper 2009-01," Working Papers 20516, Congressional Budget Office.
    17. Rashid, Saman, 2004. "Immigrant Earnings, Assimilation and Heterogeneity," Umeå Economic Studies 622, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    18. 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.
    19. Lemos, Sara, 2013. "Immigrant economic assimilation: Evidence from UK longitudinal data between 1978 and 2006," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 339-353.
    20. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2015. "Assessing the Socioeconomic Mobility and Integration of U.S. Immigrants and Their Descendants," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 657(1), pages 108-135, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; wages; skills;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:458. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/irprius.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bobray Bordelon (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/irprius.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.