Why are the wages of the Mexican immigrants and their descendants so low in the United States?

  • Pedro P. Orraca Romano University of Sussex
  • Erika García Meneses Universidad Autónoma de Baja California
Keywords: occupational segregation, wage differentials, Mexican-Americans
JEL Classification: J31, J24, J61


This paper studies the role of occupational segregation in explaining the low wages among first, second and third generation Mexican immigrants in the United States. Mexican-Americans earn lower wages than African-Americans mainly because they possess less human capital. With respect to Americans of European descent, their lower wages are also a product of their smaller rewards for skills and underrepresentation at the top of the occupational structure. Occupational segregation constitutes an important part of the wage gap between natives and Mexican-born immigrants. For subsequent generations, the contribution of occupational segregation to the wage gap varies significantly between groups and according to the decomposition used


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How to Cite
Orraca RomanoP., & García MenesesE. (2016). Why are the wages of the Mexican immigrants and their descendants so low in the United States?. Estudios Económicos, 31(2), 305-337. https://doi.org/10.24201/ee.v31i2.19
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