Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 507–530

How do immigrants spend their time? The process of assimilation

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0440-x

Cite this article as:
Hamermesh, D.S. & Trejo, S.J. J Popul Econ (2013) 26: 507. doi:10.1007/s00148-012-0440-x


Sharp differences in time use by nativity emerge when activities are distinguished by incidence and intensity in recent US data. A model with daily fixed costs for assimilating activities predicts that immigrants are less likely than natives to undertake such activities on a given day; but those who do will spend relatively more time on them. Activities such as purchasing, education, and market work conform to the model. Other results suggest that fixed costs for assimilating activities are higher for immigrants with poor English proficiency or who originate in less developed countries. An analysis of comparable Australian data yields similar results.


Time useFixed costsIncidenceIntensity

JEL Classification


Supplementary material

148_2012_440_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (120 kb)
(PDF 120 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TexasAustinUSA