Year of Publication



Undergraduate Education


When evaluating the impact of immigration, extant economic literature has overwhelmingly focused on natives and men. The widely accepted methodology in the literature usually segments by education and by experience. Segmenting by education has been found to not be viable for immigrants due to immigrant downgrading, and experience is not conducive for women since it is calculated based on age. Through both an empirical analysis and an ethnography, this study takes the initial steps to include existent immigrants and women in the discussion. The economic empirical analysis evaluates the impact of immigration on existent immigrants, a growing portion of the labor force. I find that immigrants are not an exclusive labor market, as much of the literature assumes, but are part of a mixed labor market. I extend the study to evaluate effects based on birthplace groups, which shows notable variation across groups. I also find that using residualized wage as the dependent variable and using occupation quartiles as a proxy for skill are stronger methodological methods when segmenting immigrants. The cultural anthropological ethnography is crafted on the story of Indian immigrant women in Kentucky. I find that immigrants have additional reasons for nonrandom location choice, such as visa waiver programs. I also find that immigrant networks, location, and visa status impact the employment patterns of the women. This is because of both a lack of childcare and a lack of opportunities. The ethnography also finds supporting evidence for using occupation quartiles as a proxy for skill and for the presence of a mixed labor market. In all, I use both studies to propose improvements to economic methodology so that the discussion includes both existent immigrants and women moving forward.

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