Earnings of Mexican Immigrants: New versus Traditional Destinations

Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Ce Shang, University of Illinois at Chicago

We study the labor market outcomes of Mexican immigrants in their traditional and newer destinations using nationally representative cross-sectional and longitudinal data and find that during 1996-2009, recently-arrived Mexican immigrants were three to four percentage points more likely to be employed at the newer destinations than at the traditional ones. Analysis using longitudinal data with person fixed effects shows that with an additional year in the US the real wage of Mexican women increased 1-4%, and of Mexican men 0-3%. There is evidence that the wage gap between first and second generation Mexicans increased and wage widening was more pronounced in the traditional destinations. Further, we estimate that outmigration is higher for Mexico-born men than women, and among men, greater for those living at the newer destinations. Finally our analysis shows that outmigration was associated with a 4-7% lower wage of Mexican men in the year prior to return.

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Presented in Session 51: Immigration and Integration in the Workplace and Housing