Labor Market Stratification among Asian Immigrants in the United States

Jennifer C. Lee, Indiana University

Occupations within both the mainstream and the ethnic economy have become more stratified among Asian immigrants in the United States. In this paper, I draw upon a labor market segmentation perspective and disaggregate the mainstream and ethnic economies into primary and secondary segments, and assess what factors affect employment in each. Using data from the 2000 Census, I find that while those who work in the ethnic primary segment have lower educations than those in the mainstream primary segment, years in the U.S. and English proficiency do not distinguish between employment in the mainstream primary and ethnic primary segments. However, those that work in the ethnic secondary sector have significantly lower levels of all human capital measures than those that work in the mainstream secondary sector. Also, family formation has less of a negative effect on employment in the ethnic secondary segment than in other segments of the labor market.

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Presented in Poster Session 2