Chen Liu

Department of Economics
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093

Institutional Affiliation: University of California at San Diego

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2017The Rise and Fall of U.S. Low-Skilled Immigration
with Gordon Hanson, Craig McIntosh: w23753
From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the United States experienced an epochal wave of low-skilled immigration. Since the Great Recession, however, U.S. borders have become a far less active place when it comes to the net arrival of foreign workers. The number of undocumented immigrants has declined in absolute terms, while the overall population of low-skilled, foreign-born workers has remained stable. We examine how the scale and composition of low-skilled immigration in the United States have evolved over time, and how relative income growth and demographic shifts in the Western Hemisphere have contributed to the recent immigration slowdown. Because major source countries for U.S. immigration are now seeing and will continue to see weak growth of the labor supply relative to the United Sta...

Published: Gordon Hanson & Chen Liu & Craig McIntosh, 2017. "The Rise and Fall of U.S. Low-Skilled Immigration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, vol 2017(1), pages 83-168. citation courtesy of

May 2017High-Skilled Immigration and the Comparative Advantage of Foreign-Born Workers across US Occupations
with Gordon H. Hanson
in High-Skilled Migration to the United States and Its Economic Consequences, Gordon H. Hanson, William R. Kerr, and Sarah Turner, editors
In this paper, we examine the changing presence of foreign-born college-educated workers in the U.S. labor force and characterize the occupational specialization of these workers over time. The presence of highly educated foreign-born workers varies markedly by occupation. Whereas their share of employment rises modestly from 4.2% in 1960 to 11.6% in 2010-12 in education, law, and social-service occupations, it jumps from 6.6% to 28.1% over this same period in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Across occupations, there are pronounced differences in employment patterns by immigrants according to their country of origin. In STEM jobs, the share of U.S. workers who are from India rises from near zero in 1960 to 9.3%, accounting for one-third of all foreign-born workers...
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