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Workplace Concentration of Immigrants

  • Monica I. Garcia-Perez

    (Department of Economics, St. Cloud State University)

  • Fredrik Andersson

    (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency)

  • John Haltiwanger

    (University of Maryland)

  • Fredrik Kristin McCue

    (Census Bureau)

  • Seth Sanders

    ()

    (Duke University
    Department of Economics, St. Cloud State University)

To what extent do immigrants and the native-born work in separate workplaces? Do worker and employer characteristics explain the degree of workplace concentration? We explore these questions using matched employer-employee data that extensively cover employers in selected MSAs. We find that immigrants are much more likely to have immigrant coworkers than are natives, and are particularly likely to work with their compatriots. We find much higher levels of concentration for small businesses than for large ones, that concentration varies substantially across industries, and that concentration is particularly high among immigrants with limited English. We also find evidence that neighborhood job networks are strongly positively associated with concentration. The effects of networks and language remain strong when type is defined by country of origin rather than simply immigrant status. The importance of these factors varies by immigrant country of origin—for example, not speaking English well has a particularly strong association with concentration for immigrants from Asian countries. Within MSAs, we find that observable employer and employee characteristics account for about half of the difference between immigrants and natives in the likelihood of having immigrant coworkers, with differences in industry, residential segregation and English skills the most important factors.

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Paper provided by Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-20.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:scs:wpaper:1120
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