Economic Assimilation of Asian Indians in the United States: Evidence from the 1990s
- 303 Downloads
Although Asian Indians constitute one of the largest and fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States, there has been no systematic examination of their economic performance. This paper studies the relative wage convergence of Asian Indians in the United States, using the 5/100 1990 and 2000 US Censuses. Results from cross-sectional and cohort analyses indicate that, although the recent-arrival cohort of Asian Indian males and females face a wage penalty relative to native-born non-Hispanic whites, there is significant growth in their wages over the decade, suggesting strong economic assimilation. However, overall, the group is not able to reach wage parity with comparable native-born whites even after residing in the country for 20 years. These results are in line with the existing evidence on post-1965 immigrants in the United States. Furthermore, results indicate that Asian Indians experience greater wage assimilation compared with Other Asians, and within the Asian Indian group, females experience greater economic assimilation compared with males.
KeywordsEconomic assimilation Asian Indian assimilation Cohort analysis Wage parity
The author would like to thank Sping Wang for her help with the manuscript. The author is also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
- Betts, J. R., & Lofstrom, M. (2000). The education attainment of immigrants: Trends and implications. In G. Borjas (Ed.), Issues in the economics of immigration (pp. 51–116). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Borjas, G. (1993). Immigration policy, national origin, and immigrant skills: A comparison of Canada and the United States. In D. Card & R. B. Freeman (Eds.), Small differences that matter: Labor markets and income maintenance in Canada and the United States (chapter 1). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Dixon, D. (2006). Characteristics of the Asian born in the United States. Migration Policy Institute Resource Document. http://www.migrationinformation.org/USFocus/display.cfm?ID=378. Accessed 12 January 2010.
- Dworkin, A., & Dworkin, J. (1988). Interethnic stereotypes of acculturating Asian Indians in the United States. Plural Societies, 18(1), 61–70.Google Scholar
- LaLonde, R., & Topel, R. (1992). The assimilation of immigrants in the U.S. labor markets. In G. Borjas & R. Freeman (Eds.), Immigration and the workforce (pp. 67–92). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Ruggles, S., Sobek, M., Alexander, T., Fitch, C., Goeken, R., Hall, P., et al. (2008). Integrated public use microdata series: Version 4.0 [machine-readable database]. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Population Center [producer and distributor], 2008.Google Scholar
- Saran, P. (1985). The Asian Indian experience in the United States. Cambridge: Schenkman Publishing.Google Scholar
- Saran, P., & Eames, E. (1980). The new ethnics: Asian Indians in the United States. New York: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
- Terrazas, A. (2008). Indian immigrants in the United States. Migration Policy Institute Resource Document. http://www.migrationinformation.org/USFocus/display.cfm?ID=687. Accessed 12 January 2010.
- Wadhwa, V., Jain, S., Saxenian, A., Gereffi, G., Wang, H. (2011). The Grass is indeed greener in India and China for returnee entrepreneurs: America’s new immigrant entrepreneurs, part VI. The Kauffman Foundation. http://www.kauffman.org/uploadedfiles/grass-is-greener-for-returnee-entrepreneurs.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2012.