Ethnic Enclaves and the Earnings of Immigrants

Yu Xie, University of Michigan
Margaret Gough, University of Michigan

There is a large literature in sociology concerning the implications of immigrants’ participation in ethnic enclaves for their economic and social well-being. In this paper, we examine the economic outcomes of immigrants working in ethnic enclaves as compared to those working in the mainstream economy. The study utilizes the newly available data from the New Immigrant Survey (NIS) to provide empirical answers to some of the most pressing questions in the literature on ethnic enclaves. The NIS is particularly attractive for our research aims. First, it provides adequate coverage of even smaller immigrant groups. Second, it offers a wide range of variables, including characteristics of respondents’ employers, job characteristics, educational attainment and language ability. Third, it provides detailed geographic locations for the immigrants themselves.

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Presented in Session 8: Migration and Neighborhood Effects