Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men



The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skilled black men, fell precipitously between 1960 and 2000. At the same time, their incarceration rate rose. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in employment and incarceration. Using data from the 1960–2000 US censuses, we find that a 10% immigration-induced increase in the supply of workers in a particular skill group reduced the black wage of that group by 2.5%, lowered the employment rate by 5.9 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate by 1.3 percentage points.