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Immigrants and the labor Market

  • james smith

    (rand corporation)

This paper deals with a number of issues about immigrants to the United States and their education. In part reflecting the reasons why they come in America, immigrants are more highly represented in both the lowest and highest rungs of the education ladder. On average immigrants have less schooling than the native born, a schooling deficit that reached 1.3 years in 2002. Perhaps as important as the average difference between immigrants and the native-born population, there is considerable diversity in the schooling accomplishments among different immigrant sub-groups. The education of new European and Asian immigrants is higher than that of native-born Americans, while the typical Latino immigrant continues to trail the native-born by about four years of schooling on average. The education gap of new recent immigrants did rise modestly over the last 60 years. This increase was higher among men than among women and is entirely accounted for the increasing fraction of immigrants who are illegal. Legal immigrants appear to have about the same amount of schooling as native-born Americans do, and in the top of the schooling hierarchy have a good deal more. Finally, I find that the concern that educational generational progress among Latino immigrants has lagged behind other immigrant groups is largely unfounded.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0511004.

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Date of creation: 06 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0511004
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  1. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 1629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 1998. "The Immigrant and Native-born Wage Distributions: Evidence from United States Censuses," NBER Working Papers 6630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Guillermina Jasso & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 1998. "The Changing Skills of New Immigrants to the United States: Recent Trends and Their Determinants," NBER Working Papers 6764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas Massey & Mark Rosenzweig & James Smith, 2000. "The new immigrant survey pilot (NIS-P): Overview and new findings about U.S. Legal immigrants at admission," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 127-138, February.
  6. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Morrison Piehl, 1998. "Recent Immigrants: Unexpected Implications for Crime and Incarceration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(4), pages 654-679, July.
  7. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
  8. 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 410-42, June.
  9. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1990. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 3573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-run convergence of ethnic skill differentials: The children and grandchildren of the Great Migration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
  12. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials: The Children and Grandchildren of the Great Migration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
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