New Research Examines Impact of Immigration on U.S. Domestic Workforce

Study Shows Lack of Evidence Supporting "Substitutability" of Civilian Workers for Immigrants
February 6, 2017

Rohnert Park, California - The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced new research published by Dr. Chong-Uk Kim, Professor of Economics, on the wage effects of immigration on U.S. domestic workers, including foreign-born domestic workers. In the study, "Immigration and domestic wage: An empirical study on competition among immigrants," Professor Kim found no empirical evidence supporting the substitutability of immigrants for native workers, and no statistical difference between skilled and unskilled immigrants in terms of influence on labor market outcomes. Another conclusion of the research is that internal competition among immigrants is minimal, with income levels of non-citizen workers dependent on economic factors other than the number of non-citizens in workforce.  
"As the U.S. continues its debate on immigration, elected officials and the global public need unbiased, non-political information to formulate policies and opinions that influence the way business is done in California and across the country. While existing studies consider the wage effects of immigration among native-born workers, this study goes further to consider the labor market influence of multiple factors related to immigrants and immigration," Dr. Chong-Uk Kim, professor of Economics at Sonoma State University said.  
Access the study here: 

"Immigration and domestic wage: An empirical study on competition among immigrants" was published in November 2016 in the Journal of Applied Economics. It is based on data from the Current Population Survey, a monthly review of 60,000 U.S. households conducted by the United States Census Bureau. Other recent studies on immigration by Professor Kim include "Immigration and international trade: Evidence from recent South Korean experiences" published by the International Area Studies Review in January 2016.

For more information about research by Dr. Chong-Uk Kim and other faculty in the School of Business and Economics, or for information regarding certificates and degrees, please call (707) 664-2377 or visit