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Earnings Performance of African Immigrants: Evidence from the American Community Survey


Although the number of African immigrants in the U.S. has increased rapidly in recent decades, relatively little regarding their economic performance and assimilation appears in the economics literature. We use pooled cross-sectional data (2011–2015) from the American Community Survey to explore the effects on African immigrant earnings of immigrant characteristics such as degrees attained, type of major, years in the U.S., citizenship status, English-speaking abilities, and country of origin. We also use earnings functions to analyze the earnings assimilation of African immigrants with natives over the past decade. The results show that college-educated African immigrants have experienced some earnings convergence with natives between 2005 and 2015. Surprisingly, the assimilation analysis of non-college graduate African immigrants shows that they have achieved an earnings advantage over native non-college graduates.

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Correspondence to Michael C. Seeborg.

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Ikpebe, E., Seeborg, M.C. Earnings Performance of African Immigrants: Evidence from the American Community Survey. Atl Econ J 46, 215–230 (2018).

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  • Immigration
  • Assimilation
  • Earnings
  • African immigration
  • Wage gap
  • Human capital


  • J10
  • J21
  • J30