Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Immigration and Within-Group Wage Inequality: How Queuing, Competition, and Care Outsourcing Exacerbate and Erode Earnings Inequalities
by Strader, Eiko Hiraoka, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2017, 170; 10997500
Abstract (Summary)

The rhetoric against immigration in the United States mostly focuses on the economic threat to low-educated native-born men using a singular labor market competition lens. In contrast to this trend, this dissertation builds on a large body of previous work on job queuing and ethnic competition, as well as insights gained from the studies on female labor force participation and the outsourcing of care work. By exploring regional differences in the wage effects of immigration across 100 metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2007, I argue that immigration is an intersectionally dynamic localized source of wage inequality and equality.

The first chapter provides an overview of the current literature concerning the wage effects of immigration on native-born workers. The second chapter asks empirically whether immigration is related to regional differences in the gender wage gap, and finds that the gap is narrower in cities with higher concentrations of migrant domestic workers. In chapter three, I focus on native-born women only and investigate how within-women inequalities are mediated, unchanged, or sustained through immigration by race, class and motherhood. In the fourth chapter, I discuss the benefits and limitations of fixed- and random-effects models, and advocate for the use of hybrid-effects models for intersectional scholars who consider social inequality to be a multidimensional experience across time and space.

Ultimately, I conclude that the wage effects of immigration are the result of gendered, raced and classed queuing processes, as well as changes in household production decisions. Findings presented in this dissertation advance empirical and theoretical debates on the linkage between immigration and within-country wage inequality by arguing that the wage effects of immigration are intersectionally dynamic. The policy implications of my dissertation are twofold. First, the binary treatment of native-born workers against immigrants is misguided because immigration intersects with other sources of inequality. Secondly, the continued reliance on the market-based care, as opposed to publicly provided care, increases the labor market vulnerability of some native-born workers.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 80/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sociology, Social structure, Demography
Keywords: Care outsourcing, Competition, Gender and work, Immigration, Inequality, Queuing theory
Publication Number: 10997500
ISBN: 978-0-438-53940-2
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