Authors

Joni Hersch

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Labor Economics

Publication Date

2008

Page Number

345

Keywords

immigrants, discrimination in employment, human skin color

Disciplines

Labor and Employment Law | Law | Law and Race

Abstract

Using data from the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that skin color and height affect wages among new lawful immigrants to the U.S. controlling for education, English language proficiency, occupation in source country, family background, ethnicity, race, and country of birth. Immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 17 percent more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color. Taller immigrants have higher wages, but weight does not affect wages. Controls for extensive current labor market characteristics that may be influenced by discrimination do not eliminate the negative effect of darker skin color on wages.

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