Panel: Recent Evidence on Immigrantsí Residential and Economic Mobility
(Population and Migration Issues)

Friday, November 7, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Sandia (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Cathy Liu, Georgia State University
Panel Chairs:  Eric Schwartz, University of Minnesota
Discussants:  Sarah Bohn, Public Policy Institute of California

Unemployment and American's Immigrant Receptivity Attitudes in Established and Emerging Destination Areas
Gordon De Jong, Deborah Graefe, Chris Galvan and Stephanie Howe, Pennsylvania State University

Understanding the Decline in Immigrants' Mobility Rates in the United States
Cathy Liu, Georgia State University and Gary Painter, University of Southern California

Minority and Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Access to Financial Capital
Robert Fairlie, University of California, Santa Cruz

As immigrants now make up one in seven of U.S. residents and one in six of U.S. workers, their labor market behaviors continue to attract academic attention. Immigrant populations have been historically more mobile than native born populations in pursuit of economic opportunities and because of less strong ties to particular places. They are also characterized by relatively high levels of employment rates and entrepreneurial activities as comparison to the native-born population. The recent Great Recession, from December 2007 to June 2009, slowed down the national economy and resulted in declining mobility rates, higher unemployment rates, and lower business formation. However, it is not clear how immigrants fare through the recession differently from the native-born population in terms of their changing geographic mobility patterns, employment outcomes, and entrepreneurial financing and success. Existing theories point to different predictions and underlying mechanisms in their economic adjustment in face of economic cycles. This panel thus provides timely new evidence on immigrantsí economic outcomes along three important dimensions: residential mobility, employment patterns, and entrepreneurship. We ask several questions to inform recent policy debates: 1) how have the overall mobility rates changed for immigrants from 1990 to present and what factors explain these changes; 2) how has the Great Recession affected the employment outcomes of immigrant and native-born workers differently and how did they recover; 3) how are immigrant entrepreneursí sources of startup capital different from other entrepreneurs and how does access to capital shape their business success. Together, these papers improve our understanding of immigrantsí labor market outcomes in the current economic context.
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