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Do Recent Latino Immigrants Compete for Jobs with Native Hispanics and Earlier Latino Immigrants?

Kugler, Adriana and Yuksel, Mutlu (2008): Do Recent Latino Immigrants Compete for Jobs with Native Hispanics and Earlier Latino Immigrants? Published in: : pp. 1-18.

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Immigrants have long been perceived to take jobs away and to push down the wages of native workers. Given that the recent bout of Latin American immigration in the 1980s and 1990s coincided with the fall in earnings and employment of the less skilled, it is not surprising that, like previous immigration waves, recent Latin American immigration is sometimes blamed for the misfortunes of less skilled Americans. There is, however, little evidence showing that immigration reduces native employment and earnings. Some believe that this is because immigrants are employed in jobs that natives are not willing to do in any case. In this chapter, we examine whether the recent Latino immigrants are hurting the chances of earlier Latino immigrants and native Hispanics who are more likely to do the same jobs as recent Latin Americans. We find little evidence showing that the recent influx of Latin Americans hurt Latinos and Hispanics. If anything, once we control for ongoing trends in regions receiving immigrants, we find that the recent Latin American immigration helped native Hispanics but had no effect on previous Latin American immigrants. The earnings of native Hispanics increased with the most recent wave of Latin American immigration probably because immigrants help the productivity of native Hispanics by providing cheap services and doing jobs that free up the time of natives for more specialized tasks.

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