Do Immigrants Benefit from an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate? An Analysis by Immigrant Industry Concentration

Kalena E. Cortes, University of Pennsylvania

This paper analyzes the most recent increase in the minimum wage rate in the U.S., primarily focusing on a group of workers that should benefit the most--immigrants. In particular this paper makes the distinction between immigrants and natives who work in low and high immigrant industry concentration. This paper also investigates whether there is any relationship between industry noncompliance and the concentration of immigrant workers. I find that both immigrants and natives benefited from this recent increase in the minimum wage rate. Also, the two procedures testing non-compliance towards immigrants unambiguously show no existing evidence of such incidence. In fact, female immigrants working in high immigrant industries, who are the worst off in the sample compared with the other groups, are the group with the highest compliance towards them.

Presented in Session 47: Immigrants and Labor Markets