This article analyzes the factors that explain the lower earnings of Mexican immigrants relative to natives and explores whether some of the discrepancies in immigrant-native earnings reflect different patterns of income attainment between the two groups. Using data from the 1990 Panel Study of Income Dynamics/Latino National Political Survey, a series of incremental regression models are conducted. Separate models for immigrants and natives reveal that education, occupation, and metropolitan location have a large positive effect on the earnings of native-born Mexican men but no significant effect on immigrants. For immigrants, work experience in the United States increases earnings. Working in manufacturing and living in the South significantly decrease the earnings of immigrants. However, both benefit substantially from union membership. The findings suggest that policy interventions to improve the socioeconomic status of Mexican Americans need to be responsive to different patterns of economic integration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Linguistics and Language