Green Cards and the Location Choices of Immigrants in the United States, 1971-2000

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    This paper examines the determinants of the initial location choices of immigrants who enter the U.S. with different kinds of visas ("green cards"). Conditional logit models with the 48 contiguous U.S. states as the choice set are estimated using population data on immigrants from the Immigration and Naturalization Service between 1971 and 2000 matched to data on state characteristics from the Integrated Public Use Microsamples of the U.S. Census. As in previous research, it is estimated that immigrants have a higher probability of moving to states where individuals from their region of birth are a larger share of the state population, with relatives of legal permanent residents responding most to this factor. In addition, it is estimated that immigrants in all admission categories respond to labor market conditions when choosing where to live, but that these effects are the largest for male employment-based immigrants and, surprisingly, refugees. These relationships are relatively stable across models that include state fixed effects as well as those that allow the coefficients to vary across the four decades available in the data.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationImmigration Trends, Consequences and Prospects for the United States
    EditorsBarry Chiswick
    Number of pages53
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2007

    Publication series

    NameResearch in Labor Economics
    ISSN (Print)0147-9121


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