Determinants of Earnings for Asian Immigrants in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area
This thesis examines the determinants of earnings for Asian immigrants in the Midwest of the United States. It tests simultaneously three theoretical explanations--assimilation, human capital, and job competition--for the earnings attainment of three major Asian groups: Asian Indian, Vietnamese, and Chinese in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Drawing from the 2000 Census 5% sample, I first examine the attributes of the three Asian groups and non-Hispanic whites to see how the possible determinants of earnings are presented among them. I then compare average earnings across these four groups to identify any earnings disparities. To explore the earnings inequality between non-Hispanic whites and Asian immigrants, I use each of the three ethnic group memberships while controlling factors of the three theories to predict earnings. I finally take an integrated theoretical approach to understand each Asian group's earnings. The results show different earnings patterns in each Asian group, indicating internal heterogeneity among Asian immigrants. Asian Indians have the highest earnings attainment, followed by non-Hispanic whites, then Chinese, and lastly Vietnamese. Being a Chinese or Vietnamese has significantly negative effects on earnings. The earnings of Asian Indians can be best explained by the human capital and job competition theories whereas assimilation variables are the most significant for Vietnamese immigrants. However, none of the theories shows an absolute advantage over the others in explaining the earnings levels of Chinese immigrants.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- List of Illustrations -- List of Tables -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Review of Literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Conclusion -- References -- Vita.