Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A comparative study of Chinese and Mexican immigrants' economic incorporation in the United States
by Chunyu, Miao, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2010, 321; 3419811
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation research is a comparative study of the economic incorporation of the unskilled Chinese and Mexican immigrants in the United States. This comparative approach is justified by the fact that these two groups share striking similarities in human capital, social networks, and immigrant flow patterns, whereas they also differ significantly in their migration cost, transnational practice, and reception in the U.S. labor market. This research investigates three specific aspects of their labor market experience: participation in self-employment, job transition, and earnings growth. Essentially I hope to find out whether these immigrants can achieve economic mobility over time and in what forms. To explain the variation in immigrants' labor market performance, I examine the effects of a series of factors, including assimilation, transnationalism, and other factors pertaining to the contexts of exit and reception. One particular point of inquiry is immigrants' job placement in nontraditional destination areas and the economic consequences associated with that movement.

This is mainly a quantitative study, using data from the Mexican Migration Project (MMP) and the China International Migration Project (CIMP). Besides descriptive statistics I employ a series of multivariate methods in my analyses, including logistic regression, discrete-time logit model, event history proportional hazard model, and fixed-effects and random-effects models. In addition, I utilize the qualitative information collected from the in-depth interviews with select Chinese immigrants in New York City in order to corroborate and complement the quantitative results.

This study finds many similarities between the two groups' labor market experience. These include their occupational status, patterns of job transitions within the U.S., and the influence of pre-migration endowment on their entrepreneurial attainment in the host society. Furthermore, both groups show an increasing trend of working in their nontraditional destination areas, very likely due to the reduced job competition and higher wages there. But they differ vastly in their labor market niches, including participation in self-employment and employment by coethnics, which lead to important differences in their economic well-being. In addition, intensive transnational practice and exorbitant migration cost constitute unique forces in affecting the incorporation experiences of Mexican and Chinese immigrants respectively.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Liang, Zai
Commitee: Alba, Richard D., Denton, Nancy A.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Economics, Hispanic American studies, Demography
Keywords: Chinese, Chinese immigrant, Comparative research, Economic incorporation, Ethnic economy, Immigrant integration, Immigrants, Labor market, Mexican, Mexican immigrant
Publication Number: 3419811
ISBN: 9781124201399
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