Blending in, moving up

Here is my Washington Post Op-Ed on Latino assimilation, with Daniel M. Rothschild.  Free registration may be required.  Excerpt:

The children of Latino immigrants do especially well at work. James
P. Smith of Rand Corp. has shown that the children and grandchildren of
Latino immigrants come very close to closing educational and income
gaps with native whites. This is the same as it has always been in
American immigration: Newcomers know what keeps them outside the
mainstream and work hard to make sure that their children do better.
Immigrant Latino men make about half of what native whites do; their
grandsons earn about 78 percent of the salaries of their native white

Studies such as Smith’s, because they track trends over
time, are better at discovering patterns of assimilation than studies
that compare immigrants in 2006 to natives. The latter present a
snapshot; they can’t demonstrate long-term trends.

It’s true that
recent immigrants have not been closing the wage gap as fast as earlier
immigrants. But David Card of the University of California at Berkeley,
John DiNardo of the University of Michigan and Eugena Estes of
Princeton attribute this to an increase in inequality nationwide.
Controlling for this, Latino immigrants are doing as well as immigrants
a century ago.


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