Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2015

Embargo Period



Because African immigrants have become a significant presence in the United States in the past few decades, understanding the dynamics of their immigrant labor market has become increasingly important. In this paper, I follow a cohort of immigrants from 2001-2012 to see whether African immigrants assimilate with natives. I also investigate the effects of immigrant specific variables such as education, time of arrival in the U.S., and English-speaking abilities, on their wages in the U.S. labor market. Using a cohort over time and cross sectional data sets, respectively, from the American Community Survey, this study employs OLS regression analysis to test hypotheses about the progression of immigrant wages with natives and the effect of immigrant specific variables on immigrant and native earnings. Results show immigrants experience incomplete assimilation with natives. Also, after controlling for education and demographic variables, African immigrants are at an earnings disadvantage compared to natives. Lastly, I find that African immigrants that are non-citizens are at a greater disadvantage than those that are naturalized citizens, and late arrivals are at a greater disadvantage than early arrivals.



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