Social and Spatial Mobility in Immigrant Incorporation

Jamie Goodwin-White, University of Washington

It is increasingly realized that prospects for immigrant incorporation are contingent on where immigrants are located within the U.S. There are several theoretical implications of this realization for assessments of immigrant economic progress. First, comparisons of immigrant/native wage gaps should take into account the different residential patterns of immigrants and natives in the United States. Second, immigrants’ decisions on where to locate and whether or not to move should be related to the different opportunities available in different labor markets. I first weight wage regressions by relative shares of immigrant and native-born groups by major metropolitan area in order to determine the extent to which geography plays a part in the wage gaps between immigrants and natives. Second, the importance of internal mobility in determining wage outcomes is assessed through a two-stage Heckman model which examines the selectivity of internal migration in determining labor market outcomes.

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Presented in Session 46: Intermetropolitan Migration in the United States