Migration and regional factors affecting the wages of Asian American men
Prior research shows that race remains a significant factor of inequality in the U.S. The extent to which Asian Americans face discrimination in the labor market is also a subject of considerable debate. Thus, studying labor market inequality of Asian Americans is important for our better understanding of current/future race relations in the U.S. In doing so, the role of region and migration remain key factors that have not been much taken into account in the prior research, although they play an important role in assessing whether Asian Americans have reached labor market parity with non-Hispanic whites. This research therefore investigates migration and regional aspects affecting the wages of Asian American men. More specifically, this study investigates whether wage determination and regional migration are indeed interrelated among Asian Americans, and the extent to which important migration and regional characteristics of Asian Americans differ from those of whites. Because prior research has limited scope examining these important factors, this study investigates various hypotheses together, to broadly understand the complicated processes across migration patterns, regional aspects, and labor market outcomes among Asian American men. Using the 5-Percent Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) from the 2000 U.S. Census and the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), the results indicate the significance of region of residence and migration processes for understanding the wages of Asian American men, as well as the extent to which they differ from whites. For example, this research finds that region and regional distribution matter in the wages of Asian Americans, because cost of living expense is significantly higher for Asian Americans. Indeed, this study finds that Asian American men do not face a substantial disadvantage in the U.S. labor market, net of cost of living, demographic, and class factors. Prior research shows that Asian Americans had faced significant direct and overt racial discrimination in the labor market before World War II. Then this achievement of parity represents a historic change for Asian Americas. Namely, racial and ethnic discrimination in the post-Civil Rights era has been ameliorated at least for Asian Americans. Findings of this research show that taking regional migration into account does not alter this fundamental and significant conclusion. Furthermore, the regional aspect (i.e., higher cost of living for Asian Americans) does not explain why Asian Americans have socioeconomic parity with whites. Although what this conclusion implies about race relations for other minority groups remains debatable, the post-Civil Rights era appears to be characterized with the greater acceptance of Asian Americans, rather than the extensive and persuasive occupational disadvantages and other forms of discrimination that were commonly found in the pre-World War II era.