Immigration and the Quality of Jobs

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 6195
Issued in September 1997
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies Program

A precondition for the absence of labor-market competition between immigrants and natives is that they differ in their willingness to accept work that offers different amenities. The implications of a model embodying this assumption are that immigrants will be observed experiencing inferior workplace amenities than natives, and that the presence of immigrants will affect the amenities natives enjoy. I examine these possibilities on three sets of household data: The merged May and June 1991 Current Population Surveys, giving information on the timing of work over the day by nativity; the June 1991 CPS merged with industry data on workplace injury rates and durations; and the Quality of American Life Surveys of 1971 and 1978, providing workers' responses about their satisfaction with particular aspects of their jobs. The analysis clearly shows that observationally similar immigrants and native whites enjoy very similar packages of amenities: The precondition for noncompetition between immigrants and natives does not exist. Also, a greater immigrant concentration has no consistent effect on the amenities natives enjoy. African-Americans, however, receive a set of workplace amenities that is inferior to that of otherwise similar native whites and immigrants.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6195

Published: "Immigration and the Quality of Jobs" Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Help or hinderance? The economic implications of immigration for African Americans, 1998, pp. 75-106, New York: Russell Sage Foundation

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