The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets

38 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2007

See all articles by Robert LaLonde

Robert LaLonde

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy (deceased); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) (deceased); IZA Institute of Labor Economics (deceased)

Robert H. Topel

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1990

Abstract

This paper reassesses the evidence on the assimilation and the changing labor market skills of immigrants to the United States. We find strong evidence of labor market assimilation for most immigrant groups. For Asian and Mexican immigrants the first ten years experience in the united States raise earnings by more than 20 percent. Further, this estimate may understate the actual rate of assimilation because of the sharp decline in the relative wages of unskilled U.S. workers. We also find little evidence of declining immigrant "quality" within ethnic groups. The diminished labor market skills of new immigrants result entirely from changes in the immigrants' countries of origin.

Suggested Citation

LaLonde, Robert J. and Topel, Robert H., The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets (December 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3573, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=471540

Robert J. LaLonde (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy (deceased)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) (deceased)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics (deceased)

Robert H. Topel

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

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