Economic assimilation of Mexican and Chinese immigrants in the United States: is there wage convergence?

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This research determines the economic assimilation experience of Mexican immigrants and Chinese immigrants towards natives level over time after controlling for human capital and demographic characteristics. Using Census data from multiple years, this research follows cohorts of Mexican and Chinese immigrants who migrated to the U.S. prior to 1994 to investigate the impact of assimilation on the level of earnings for these immigrants. Multiple regression and simulation techniques are used to compare the earnings growth pattern for the two immigrant groups. Results show that over time there is wage convergence for Chinese immigrants toward the native level and they do show rapid economic assimilation in the United States. However, there is wage divergence and no economic assimilation of Mexican immigrants towards natives over time. The underlying explanation can be the changing demand of the U.S. labor market as it becomes more and more knowledge-based and information-driven.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalEconomics Bulletin
StatePublished - 2012


  • Economics

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