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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Intro the Mainstream? Labor Market Outcomes of Mexican Origin Workers


We evaluate recent revisions of assimilation theory by comparing the labor market performance of Mexican immigrants and their descendents to those of native white and Black Americans. Using unique data from the CPS Contingent Worker Series, we measure the employment sector distribution, fringe benefits, and earnings of four Mexican foreign born cohorts, second generation, and third generation Mexican Americans. We find little evidence that Mexican Americans are clustered in nonstandard work, noting instead improvement in benefits and pay amongst older cohorts and the second and third generation. However, all Mexican origin workers are disadvantaged relative to native whites in terms of benefits. It is only within the public sector that the labor market outcomes of Mexican origin workers fully converge with native whites.

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