Coming to Work? The Hours of Work of Mexican and Central American Immigrants in America

Fernando Lozano, Pomona College

In this paper I analyze the hours of work of immigrants from Mexico and Central America in the US. In particular I concentrate in workers supplying long hours of work -- 50 or more weekly hours. First, I document that immigrants are less likely than natives to work long hours, and surprisingly, these differences are greatest among college graduate, middle-age, salaried and high-income earners. Second, I analyze whether marginal incentives to supply an extra hour of labor explain these labor supply differences between immigrants and natives. I show that both groups face the same occupation and industry based incentives, but immigrants are less responsive to these incentives. Finally, I explain these differences with within-education group differences in occupation sorting/screening and immigrant’s lower labor market attachment, while I reject traditional labor supply models that predict positive responses in labor supply to wage increases as years in the US increase.

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Presented in Poster Session 4