New Immigrant Destinations and Wage Outcomes for Recent Low-Skill Chinese Immigrants in the United States

Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Zhen Li , Shanghai University

The increased diversification of immigrant settlement in the United States is by now well established. However, there have not been sufficient efforts to examine socioeconomic consequences of this new settlement pattern for low-skilled immigrant workers. Using two surveys in NYC’s Chinese community and other data sources, we explore the extent to which moving away from the traditional settlement location of NYC to other parts of the country brings significant improvement in salary. Drawing on literature on immigrant enclaves, migration networks, and compensating wage differentials, we develop testable hypotheses. Our results show that for low-skilled Chinese restaurant workers, moving away from the NYC Chinese community has led to significant financial gains. We also find that low-skilled Chinese immigrants who work in locations with higher crime rates receive higher pay.

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 Presented in Session 66. Immigrants' Socio-Economic Trajectories