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How the earnings growth of US immigrants was underestimated

Harriet Duleep (), Xingfei Liu () and Mark Regets ()
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Harriet Duleep: College of William & Mary
Xingfei Liu: University of Alberta
Mark Regets: National Foundation for American Policy, GLO, IZA

Journal of Population Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 2, No 1, 407 pages

Abstract: Abstract Two radically different descriptions of immigrant earnings trajectories in the USA have emerged. One asserts that immigrant men, following the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, have low initial earnings and high earnings growth. Another asserts that the post-1965 immigrants have low initial earnings and low earnings growth. We describe the methodological issues that create this divide and show that low earnings growth becomes high earnings growth when immigrants are followed from their initial years in the USA; earnings growth is allowed to vary with entry earnings; and—when following cohorts instead of individuals—sample restrictions commonly used by labor economists are avoided.

Keywords: Sample restrictions; Immigrant earnings growth; Human capital investment; US census (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C1 J1 J2 J3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-021-00861-2

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