Advertisement

The Representation of Immigrants in Federal, State, and Local Government Work Forces

  • Gregory B. Lewis
  • Cathy Yang Liu
  • Jason T. Edwards
Article

Abstract

Public sector employment of immigrants can increase their economic assimilation and potentially improve their treatment by government. Yet, as we show using Census data from 1990, 2000, and 2009–2011, immigrants are substantially underrepresented in federal, state, and local governments. To understand why, we use logit analysis for federal and for state and local government employment in each time period to test whether immigrants’ weaker educational attainment and English proficiency, lower probabilities of being citizens and military veterans, and different age, gender, and race/ethnicity distributions can explain that underrepresentation. Disparities in education and preferential government treatment of veterans are factors, but citizenship requirements appear to be the major obstacle to immigrant employment in the public sector.

Keywords

Immigrants Employment Federal, state, and local government United States 

References

  1. Asher, M., & Popkin, J. (1984). The effect of gender and race differentials on public-private wage comparisons: a study of postal workers. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 38(1), 16–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bates, T. (1997). Race, self-employment and upward mobility: an illusive American dream. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Blank, R. M. (1985). An analysis of workers' choice between employment in the public and private sectors. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 38(2), 211–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borjas, G. J. (1980). Wage determination in the federal government: the role of constituents and bureaucracy. Journal of Political Economy, 88(6), 1110–1147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borjas, G. J., & Friedberg, R. M. (2009). Recent trends in the earnings of new immigrants to the United States. Massachusetts: National Bureau of Economic Research Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyd, R. L. (1993). Differences in the earnings of black workers in the private and public sectors. The Social Science Journal, 30(2), 133–142. doi: 10.1016/0362-3319(93)90029-u.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen, A., Zalamanovitch, Y., & Davidesko, H. (2006). "The role of public sector image and personal characteristics in determining tendency to work in the public sector." Public Administration Quarterly no. Winter: 447–482.Google Scholar
  8. Collins, S. M. (1983). The making of the black middle class. Social Problems, 30(4), 369–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crum, J., & Naff, K. C. (1997). Looking like America: the continuing importance of affirmative action in federal employment. Public Productivity & Management Review, 20(3), 272–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisinger, P. K. (1982). Black employment in municipal jobs: the impact of black political power. The American Political Science Review, 76(2), 380–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis, M., & Wright, R. (1999). The industrial division of labor among immigrants and internal migrants to the Los Angeles economy. International Migration Review, 33(1), 26–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fairlie, R. W., & Robb, A. (2007). Why are black-owned businesses less successful than white-owned businesses: the role of families, inheritances, and business human capital. Journal of Labor Economics, 25(2), 289–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gamage, Daya. (2011). Asian Immigrants to U.S. Better Educated, National Census Reports 2005 [cited May 18 2011]. Available from http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2005/02/26/asian-immigrants-us-better-educated-national-census-reports.
  14. Gordon, M. M. (1964). Assimilation in American life: the role of race, religion and national origins. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Grodsky, E., & Pager, D. (2001). The structure of disadvantage: individual and occupational determinants of the black-white wage gap. American Sociological Review, 66(4), 542–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hill, M. J., & Hupe, P. L. (2002). Implementing public policy: governance in theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  17. Hindera, J. J. (1993). Representative bureaucracy: further evidence of active representation in the EEOC district offices. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 3(4), 415–429.Google Scholar
  18. Johnson, H., Reyes, B., Marneesh, L., & Barbour, E. (1999) Taking the oath: an analysis of naturalization in California and the U.S. San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California.Google Scholar
  19. Katz, M. B., Stern, M. J., & Fader, J. J. (2007). The Mexican immigration debate: the view from history. Social Science History, 31(2), 157–189. doi: 10.1215/01455532-2006-019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Keiser, L. R., Wilkins, V. M., Meier, K. J., & Holland, C. A. (2002). Lipstick and logarithms: gender, institutional context, and representative bureaucracy. American Political Science Review, 96(3), 553–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kingsley, J. D. (1944). Representative bureaucracy: an interpretation of the British civil service. Yellow Springs: The Antioch Press.Google Scholar
  22. Leal, D. L. (1999). It's not just a job: military service and Latino political participation. Political Behavior, 21(2), 153–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Leete, L. (2001). Whither the nonprofit wage differential? Estimates from the 1990 census. Journal of Labor Economics, 19(1), 136–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lewis, G. B., & Frank, S. A. (2002). Who wants to work for the government? Public Administration Review, 62(4), 395–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lewis, Gregory B. (2010). Turnover, hiring, and the changing face of the federal service. In American Political Science Association. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  26. Lewis, Gregory B. (2011). The impact of veterans’ preference on the federal civil service. In American Political Science Association. Seattle.Google Scholar
  27. Lewis, G. B., & Pitts, D. W. (2011). Representation of lesbians and gay men in federal, state, and local bureaucracies. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 21(1), 159–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lewis, P. G., & Ramakrishnan, S. K. (2007). Police practices in immigrant-destination cities political control or bureaucratic professionalism? Urban Affairs Review, 42(6), 874–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lim, N. (2001). On the back of blacks? Immigrants and the fortunes of African Americans. In R. Waldinger (Ed.), Strangers at the gates: New immigrants in urban America (pp. 186–227). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Liu, C. Y. (2011). Employment concentration and job quality for low-skilled Latino immigrants. Journal of Urban Affairs, 33(2): 117–142.Google Scholar
  31. Llorens, J. J., Wenger, J. B., & Kellough, J. E. (2008). Choosing public sector employment: the impact of wages on the representation of women and minorities in state bureaucracies. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(3), 397–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Logan, J. R., Alba, R. D., & Stults, B. J. (2003). Enclaves and entrepreneurs: assessing the payoff for immigrants and minorities. International Migration Review, 37(2), 344–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Long, N. E. (1949). Power and administration. Public Administration Review, 9(4), 257–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Marrow, H. B. (2005). New destinations and immigrant incorporation. Perspectives on Politics, 3(4), 781–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marrow, H. B. (2009). Immigrant bureaucratic incorporation: the dual roles of professional missions and government policies. American Sociological Review, 74(5), 756–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marschall, M., Rigby, E., Jenkins, J. (2011). "Do state policies constrain local actors? The impact of English only laws on language instruction in public schools." Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Google Scholar
  37. Maynard-Moody, S., & Musheno, M. C. (2003). Cops, teachers, counselors: stories from the front lines of public service. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  38. Meier, K. J. (1993). Latinos and representative bureaucracy testing the Thompson and Henderson hypotheses. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 3(4), 393–414.Google Scholar
  39. Meier, K. J., & Nigro, L. G. (1976). Representative bureaucracy and policy preferences: a study in the attitudes of federal executives. Public Administration Review, 36(4), 458–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Meier, K. J., & Stewart, J., Jr. (1992). The impact of representative bureaucracies: educational systems and public policies. The American Review of Public Administration, 22(3), 157–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mollenkopf, J., & Hochschild, J. (2010). Immigrant political incorporation: comparing success in the United States and Western Europe. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(1), 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mosher, F. C. (1968). Democracy and the public service. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Pew Hispanic Center. (2011). Statistical portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2009: Pew Hispanic Center.Google Scholar
  44. Portes, A., & Zhou, M. (1996). Self-employment and the earnings of immigrants. American Sociological Review, 61(2), 219–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Riccucci, N. M. (2005). How management matters: street-level bureaucrats and welfare reform. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Rosenbloom, D. H., & Berry, C. R. (1984). The Civil Service Reform Act and EEO: the record to date. In P. W. Ingraham & C. Ban (Eds.), Legislating bureaucratic change: the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (pp. 182–199). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  47. Sanders, J. (2007). Nativity, human capital, and government employment. Social Science Research, 36(1), 404–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schneider, A. L., & Ingram, H. (1997). Policy design for democracy. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.Google Scholar
  49. Selden, S. C. (1997a). The promise of representative bureaucracy: diversity and responsiveness in a government agency. New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.Google Scholar
  50. Selden, S. C. (1997b). Representative bureaucracy. The American Review of Public Administration, 27(1), 22–42. doi: 10.1177/027507409702700103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Singell, L. D., Jr. (1991). Racial differences in the employment policy of state and local governments: the case of male workers. Southern Economic Journal, 58(2), 430–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sowa, J. E., & Selden, S. C. (2003). Administrative discretion and active representation: an expansion of the theory of representative bureaucracy. Public Administration Review, 63(6), 700–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stein, L. (1986). Representative local government: minorities in the municipal work force. The Journal of Politics, 48(3), 694–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. U.S. Census Bureau. (2009). A compass for understanding and using American community survey data: what PUMS data users need to know. edited by U.S. Department of Commerce. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  55. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. (2010). Federal employment information fact sheets: employment of non-citizens. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  56. Waldinger, R. (2001). Up from poverty? “Race,” immigration, and the fate of low‐skilled workers. In R. Waldinger (Ed.), Strangers at the gates: New immigrants in urban America (pp. 80–116). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  57. Waldinger, R. (1994). The making of an immigrant niche. International Migration Review, 28(1), 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Waldinger, R. (1996). Still the promised city? New immigrants and African Americans in postindustrial New York. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Wright, R., & Ellis, M. (2000). The ethnic and gender division of labor compared among immigrants to Los Angeles. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24(3), 567–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yang, P. Q. (1999). Quality of post-1965 Asian immigrants. Population and Environment, 20(6), 527–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zeng, Z., & Xie, Y. (2004). Asian-Americans' earnings disadvantage reexamined: the role of place of education. The American Journal of Sociology, 109(5), 1075–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory B. Lewis
    • 1
  • Cathy Yang Liu
    • 1
  • Jason T. Edwards
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Management and Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy StudiesGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations