Population Research and Policy Review 17: 141–166, 1998.
1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
The effect of immigration on the internal migration of
the native-born population, 1981–1990
MICHAEL J. WHITE
& ZAI LIANG
Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA;
Department of Sociology, Queens College, City University of New York, USA
Abstract. This study examines the impact of immigration on the labor market opportunities
of the native-born population by looking through the window of migration. We use Current
Population Survey data to analyze the one-year migration patterns of Anglos and Blacks
and include the presence of recent immigrants in the origin and (potential) destination US
states among the covariates. Our departure model employs a logit speciﬁcation to predict
outmigration (vs not) from the state during the year prior to the survey. Our arrival model uses
a conditional logit discrete choice speciﬁcation with sampling among the alternatives to predict
destination state. The data are taken from the 1981, 1984, 1987, and 1990 Current Population
Surveys. This work adds to other knowledge of the migratory response of workers and sheds
light on theories of substitution and complementarity in labor markets. States with high levels
of recent immigration are less likely to retain Anglo workers or receive new Anglo interstate
migrants, but this apparent substitution effect is partially offset by the presence of long-term
immigrant stock. Lower skilled Anglos are more susceptible to this substitution effect than
those of higher skill level. In the black population, results are more complex. Lower skilled
blacks are less attracted to high immigrant locations, but African-Americans of higher skill
level in selected occupations and industries are predicted to be more likely to remain in or
choose states with many recent immigrants.
Key words: Labor migration, Immigrants, Spatial distribution, Population policy, Ethnic
The New York Times on 27 June 1993 reported on page 1 the results of a
survey with the headline, ‘Poll Finds Tide of Immigration Brings Hostility’.
To be sure recent years have seen a large upturn in the amount of immigration
to the USA. This absolute increase in numbers has been accompanied by a
shift in the country of origin of immigrants (toward Asia and Latin America
and away from Europe) and an apparent rise in the number and proportion of
such immigrants who are undocumented. The June 1993 poll reported in the
newspaper indicated that 61% of American adults believed that immigration
should be decreased, compared to only a 33% ﬁgure in 1965, the year of the
removal of the national origin quota system.