Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Noah Smith ― Black immigrants are upwardly mobile

The other day, I noticed something disturbing in a graph from a Brookings report on immigrant mobility:

We see that Hispanics are strongly upwardly mobile from the first to the second generation. Asians are slightly upwardly mobile, but from a pretty high base. Those are both good news. But black immigrants, on average, appear to show downward mobility.

Why would black immigrants be downwardly mobile? I posed the question on Twitter. A smart person called Abraham Bloodshack immediately tweeted this to me:
generational effects? i.e., recent increase in African migration could mean second gen are all quite early in careers
That was smart. We'll follow up on that later. But first, let's review some possible explanations for the mobility disparity:

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