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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Colgate Academic Review
Title Occupational Diversity of Immigrants in the United States
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 109-134
URL http://commons.colgate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1079&context=car
This paper employs IPUMS United States Census data to study the occupational distribution of
immigrants between 1850 and 2000. Examining occupational diversity is crucial to understanding
how immigrants adjust to a host economy and affect growth. I use occupations as a way of
measuring assimilation. I analyze whether or not the spread of immigrants across occupations
looks like the spread of natives over time. To do this, I create a unique measure of diversity based
on the fractionalization index. I construct occupational diversity indices for each immigrant group
and decade. Results from a case study examination indicate that relative occupational diversity has
increased over time as immigrants have a greater ability to enter a wide array of occupations. I use
empirical models to show that a positive relationship exists between relative occupational
diversity and the immigrant to native ratio.

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