Immigrant women adjust well to US economy

Campaign rhetoric coupled with the worries over allowing thousands of Syrian immigrants into the United States after the terror attacks in Paris have seen immigration thrust into the limelight again, with recent studies showing that half of all Americans believe that the economy is being harmed by immigrants. Much political ground has also been gained from talking about the immigrants’ failure to integrate into the cultural and economic structures of the US.

Cornell University’s Francine Blau has released a new paper claiming that the culture of their new home country has a significant impact on immigrant women, but that they adapt quickly to the US economy regardless of where they came from. “Immigrant women narrow the labor supply gap with native-born women with time in the United States and while our results suggest an important role for intergenerational transmission, they also indicate considerable convergence of immigrants to native levels of schooling, fertility, and labor supply across generations,” Blau wrote.

Blau’s analysis claims that one of the biggest influences for female immigrants with regard to labor participation is their home country’s culture. Previously many immigrants came from Europe, but now many are coming from south-east Asia and Latin America.

Blau admits that unlike previous generations, the new influx of female immigrants is from countries lacking a high level of female participation in the workforce. This tends to initially cause problems, but the immigrants tend to assimilate to their new culture quite quickly.