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Choices of Metropolitan Destinations by the 1995-2000 New Immigrants Born in Mexico and India: Characterization and Multivariate Explanation

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionLiaw, Kao-Lee, and William H. Frey. 2009. "Choices of Metropolitan Destinations by the 1995-2000 New Immigrants Born in Mexico and India: Characterization and Multivariate Explanation." PSC Research Report No. 09-687. August 2009.

Using the confidential long-form records of the 2000 population census, we study the choices of metropolitan destinations made by the Mexican-born and Indian-born immigrants who arrived in the United States in 1995-2000. Based on the application of a multinomial logit model to the data of each of these two ethnic groups, our main findings are as follows.

The destination choice behaviors of both ethnic groups were in general consistent with the major theories of migration. Both groups were subject to (1) the attraction of co-ethnic communities and (2) the positive effects of wage level and total employment growth. With respect to the job increases in different wage deciles, both ethnic groups share the pattern that the less educated were subject to the pull of increase in low-wage jobs, whereas the better educated were subject to the pull of increase in high-wage jobs. With respect to the possibility of competitions against other foreign-born ethnics, both ethnic groups were found to be more prone to selecting destinations where their co-ethnics represented a relatively high proportion of the foreign-born population.

The main differences in destination choice behaviors between the two ethnic groups resulted partly from the fact that the relative explanatory powers of our chosen explanatory factors differed substantially between the two ethnic groups. The Mexican-born were more subject to the attractions of (1) larger co-ethnic communities, (2) greater overall employment growth, (3) more job increases in low wage deciles, and (4) greater share of the foreign-born population by co-ethnics. In contrast, the Indian-born were more attracted by (1) higher wage level, and (2) more job increases in high wage deciles.

Countries of focus: India, Mexico, United States.

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