In recent years, the number of second-generation immigrants entering the labor market has been increasing at a rapid pace. Their parents had immigrated in large waves, with many joining niche occupations dominated by their ethnic groups. This study looks to determine the economic impact of first-generation niche occupations, the extent that the second-generation enters the same occupations, and the resulting consequences on the second-generation’s income levels. In particular, the study investigates whether the second-generation will sustain the first-generation earnings advantage (or disadvantage) relative to natives. This research examines immigrants from China, India, the Philippines, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Data from the Current Population Survey are empirically tested through two separate OLS regressions. Results differ between countries, but imply no exact set of occupations transmitted across generations. There is some evidence of the continuation of intergenerational income advantage (or disadvantage) within immigrant groups.
Seeborg, Melissa, "Transmitting Occupational Niches From First to Second-Generation Immigrants: Are There Earnings Consequences From Being the "Copycat" Generation?" (2013). Honors Projects. 119.