The Park Place Economist


The question about the welfare of less skilled immigrants is the topic of this paper. This paper departs from previous work on immigrant cohorts and instead examines young native and legal immigrant adults (unskilled) who came to the U.S. with their parents. This paper will argue that for this sample, unskilled immigrants start off with very low wages compared to natives, but eventually pick up after acquiring U.S.-specific skills. This is probably due to positive selection of immigrants and other factors discussed later in the paper. Therefore, it can be argued that unskilled immigrants are not a drain on the economy.