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Wage Distributions in Origin Societies and Occupational Choices of Immigrant Generations in the US

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  • Zhan, Crystal

Abstract

This paper studies the occupational selection among generations of immigrants in the United States and links their choices to the occupational wage distribution in their country of origin. The empirical results suggest that individuals are more likely to take up an occupation in the US that was more lucrative in the origin country, conditional on individual demographics, parental human capital, and ethnic networks. However, the importance of the origin wage declines with the length of time that immigrants spend in the US and over generations. Information friction may be an explanation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhan, Crystal, 2020. "Wage Distributions in Origin Societies and Occupational Choices of Immigrant Generations in the US," GLO Discussion Paper Series 685, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:685
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; occupational choices; origin wage; intergenerational transmission; assimilation; human capital; information;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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