This paper employs IPUMS United States Census data to study the occupational distribution of immigrants between 1850 and 2000. Examining occupational diversity is crucial to understanding how immigrants adjust to a host economy and affect growth. I use occupations as a way of measuring assimilation. I analyze whether or not the spread of immigrants across occupations looks like the spread of natives over time. To do this, I create a unique measure of diversity based on the fractionalization index. I construct occupational diversity indices for each immigrant group and decade. Results from a case study examination indicate that relative occupational diversity has increased over time as immigrants have a greater ability to enter a wide array of occupations. I use empirical models to show that a positive relationship exists between relative occupational diversity and the immigrant to native ratio.
"Occupational Diversity of Immigrants in the United States,"
Colgate Academic Review:
Vol. 7, Article 7.
Available at: http://commons.colgate.edu/car/vol7/iss1/7