Placing Progress: Contextual Inequality, Race, and Immigrant Incorporation in the U.S.

Jamie Goodwin-White, University of Washington

Recent research has examined how immigrants' prospects for economic and social incorporation are geographically contingent, both within and across U.S. metropolitan areas. The relatively recent ability to consider the second generation children of immigrants provides an opportunity to examine the importance of local contexts not only with regard to immigrants but also to their U.S.-born and educated children, further invoking questions of social mobility and the persistence of race and ethnicity as components of inequality. I employ a relative distributions approach to the examination of wages across U.S. metropolitan areas for natives, immigrants, and their adult children. This approach allows consideration of how opportunities for immigrant incorporation have been affected by city contexts of wage inequality, as well as the relational changes in labor market position realized by native, immigrant, and second generation race groups as a result of economic changes in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Presented in Session 165: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Economics