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October 1997

Immigration and wage changes of high school dropouts

María E. Enchautegui

From 1979 to 1989, the earnings gap between immigrant and native high school dropouts remained virtually unchanged, but it increased substantially in areas of high immigration. The growing proportion of immigrant high school dropouts explains some of the earnings change. This article traces the 1979-89 earnings of foreign-born and native-born persons without a high school diploma, in order to identify trends in wage standing of immigrants relative to natives, as well as assess the compositional impact of immigrants on the wages of low-skilled workers.

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