Abstract

The increase in high-skilled immigrants to the United States coincided with the expansion of the high-technology sector, and now a large share of Asian immigrants concentrate in high-tech industries. Despite much research on the relationship between ethnic concentration and labor market outcomes, the association between ethnic niche employment and earnings within the high-technology sector of the labor market has yet to be examined. This study compares the relationship between employment in ethnic niches and earnings within high- and low-tech industries among Asian immigrants. In low-technology industries, ethnic niches are generally associated with lower earnings compared with non-niches, but in high-technology industries, employment in an ethnic niche is associated with higher earnings. These patterns vary by gender and ethnic group. This association is partly explained by the industries that comprise ethnic niches, as non-Hispanic white immigrants also experience some of the same advantages and disadvantages.

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