On race, ethnicity and on the economic cost of immigration

Dina Maskileyson*, Moshe Semyonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The paper focuses on loss (or gain) of earned income among four groups of first and second-generation immigrants (Whites, Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians) in the United States. Data were obtained from the 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey (ASEC CPS). Analysis of the male labor force population (age 24–65 years) reveals that in first generation, all four groups are disadvantaged in attainment of income (compared to third-generation and over) native-born whites. The disadvantage is least pronounced among white immigrants and most pronounced among blacks and Hispanic immigrants. Further analysis reveals that income of second-generation whites actually overpasses third generation whites. By contrast, second-generation non-white groups are disadvantaged in attainment of income when compared to third-generation whites. Second-generation non-whites are not disadvantaged, however, when compared to third-generation of the same ethnic origin. Country-specific analysis reveals some meaningful differences in income gain/loss within the major ethnic groups. For example, whereas white immigrants from Western Europe and the United Kingdom experience gain in the first generation, all nonwhites groups (except Indians) experience loss. The findings suggest that race and ethnicity continue to play a major role in the American labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Economic assimilation
  • Immigration
  • Income inequality
  • Labor market
  • Racial-ethnic stratification


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