Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height

60 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2006 Last revised: 14 Jan 2011

Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt University - Law School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 15, 2008

Abstract

Using data from the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that skin color and height affect wages among new lawful immigrants to the U.S. controlling for education, English language proficiency, occupation in source country, family background, ethnicity, race, and country of birth. Immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 17 percent more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color. Taller immigrants have higher wages, but weight does not affect wages. Controls for extensive current labor market characteristics that may be influenced by discrimination do not eliminate the negative effect of darker skin color on wages.

Keywords: discrimination, immigrants, skin color

JEL Classification: J10, J71, J31, K31

Suggested Citation

Hersch, Joni, Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height (April 15, 2008). Journal of Labor Economics, Forthcoming; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 07-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=927038 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.927038

Joni Hersch (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7717 (Phone)
615-322-6631 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/go/phdlawecon

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

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