Three studies of immigrant labor market assimilation in the United States

Ilana Redstone, University of Pennsylvania


This work uses the New Immigrant Survey Pilot data to focus on the process of immigrants' labor market adjustment to the U.S. The survey was conducted using a probability sample of immigrants who were granted permanent residency status in 1996. The first chapter measures an immigrant's host country experience, improving on the census question on year of arrival. I compare answers to the census question on year of arrival with information on the dates and durations of earlier U.S. trips using the New Immigrant Survey Pilot and finds that the answers are not consistent. The second chapter examines the occupational mobility of immigrants by comparing their occupation abroad prior to arriving with their current U.S. occupation. This comparison allows me to consider whether immigrants hold low skilled jobs because they are negatively selected with respect to skills or whether they experience occupational downgrading. The third chapter uses an individual fixed effects model to analyze the effect of three types of human capital investments on income growth. I find that formal schooling increases the rate of income growth. This relationship is driven primarily by immigrants from Europe, Australia, and Canada. Because individuals from these countries share more in culture and language with the U.S., income earned in the U.S. is more responsive to their human capital investment. That is, modest investments in U.S. education and training permit them to transfer foreign human capital efficiently to the United States.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Redstone, Ilana, "Three studies of immigrant labor market assimilation in the United States" (2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3179792.