Explaining the Immigrant-Native Wage Gap

By Nicole Gorton and Sylvia Klosin. University of Chicago.

Do female immigrants earn as much as their native counterparts, and if not, why not? We establish the existence of a wage gap between female U.S. born and female immigrant workers, then try to explain what factors drive this gap. We consider the effect of skill, English language ability, state of settlement, and the bias of selection into the workforce. We find that English language ability and selection into the workforce have the largest impact on our measure of the immigrant wage gap; in fact, we find that immigrant women have a net wage advantage in the workforce when we consider these factors.

Read the full paper here.

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