THE IMMIGRANTS: Summary Statistics 5


Tables la and lb also show the average hourly wages for recent immigrants in each year. Recent immigrants are an interesting group to study, since they are likely to be less heterogeneous than immigrants overall. They have had exactly the same amount of time to “assimilate” in each of the four periods. Similarly, return migration is unlikely to have changed the composition of this immigrant cohort. Average hourly wages for recent immigrants have always been substantially less than for the native-born. Recent immigrant men in 1960 and 1970 earned from 20-15% less per hour than native-born men. By 1990, this gap had climbed to 34% less. The pattern for recent immigrant women is similar: in 1960, recent immigrant women earned about 14% less than native-born women. In 1990, they earned 19%) less. (See Borjas (1990) for similar figures).

Note that for both men and women, the recent immigrant- native-born wage differential is somewhat smaller in 1970 than in 1960. Recall that the changes in the immigration law that were passed in 1965 (and extended to the Western Hemisphere in 1968) almost certainly did not become fully effective until late in the 1960s. Moreover, to the extent that can be ascertained, income equality was closer to an all time “high” in 1969 than at any other time in the U.S. postwar history. 8 For these reasons, wre will conduct much of our analysis later in the paper using recent immigrants in 1970.

There are two points to take awfay from this section. First, although the trend is the same, immigrant women and men differ in their relative wages in the United States labor market. The gaps between the wages of immigrant and native-born women are substantially smaller than those between immigrant and native-born men. Little attention has been focused on the performance of immigrant women in the United States labor market. In what follows, we will continue to show results for both women and men.

Secondly, our results corroborate previous research on the decline in wage earning attributes (“skills”) of immigrants. In this section we focused on differences in mean log hourly wage and we find that immigrants, especially recent immigrants, are earning substantially less than their native-born counterparts and this gap has increased over the past 30 years. In wThat follows we analyze the role that changes in the distribution of earnings between 1960 and 1990 play in this decline in relative mean w^ages. Electronic Payday Loans Online