Educational Attainment (years)

Percentage Wage Differential Between Immigrants and Natives

Country of Birth

All Immigrants

Pre-1980 Arrivals

All Immigrants

Pre-1980 Arrivals

Africa

Egypt

15.5

15.6

15.3

41.1

Ethiopia

13.7

15.4

-14.0

7.7

Nigeria

15.8

16.5

-17.1

-4.4

South Africa

15.8

15.8

44.4

55.2

Australia

15.2

15.0

34.5

26.1

 

Source: Tabulations from the 1990 Public Use Sample of the U.S. Census of Population. The statistics are calculated in the subsample of men aged 25-64 years who work in the civilian sector, who are not self-employed, and who do not reside in group quarters. The educational attainment of native men in 1990 is 13.2 years.

tional origin composition of the immigrant flow in 1970, which we denote by qi for region i. The predicted 1990 wage of immigrants had there been no change in national origin between 1970 and 1990 is given by:

(2)

and these numbers are given in the last rows of Table 5.8.12

The average wage of male immigrants in 1990, therefore, would have been 0.2 percent lower than that of natives had there been no change in national origin; the actual wage was 17.2 percent smaller. Since the wage of immigrants in 1970 was 1 percent lower, the relative standing of immigrants would not have changed had the national-origin mix not changed.

The picture is similar for immigrant women. The majority who worked in 1970 were from Europe or Canada, source countries with high levels of education and wages. By 1990, those countries accounted for only about one-quarter of the immigrant women in the labor force, and Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean had greatly increased their shares. Of the decline of about 7 percent in relative

12  

This sort of calculation is known as direct standardization in demography and biostatistics. Direct standardization is often used, for example, in fertility and mortality analysis to apply weights from a standard age distribution to a set of age-specific vital rates, yielding age-standardized birth or death rates.



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