Has the Suburbanization of Ethnic Economies Created New Opportunities for Income Attainment?
journal contributionposted on 2019-08-09, 00:00 authored by Mahesh Somashekhar
Objective. International migration to the U.S. suburbs has upended many theories of urban inequality and immigrant incorporation, including ethnic economy theory. This paper is the most comprehensive study conducted to date on the reasons behind ethnic economy suburbanization and its effect on earnings. Methods. The paper uses regression techniques to analyze Census microdata from 1990 to 2010. A series of analyses that aggregate and disaggregate trends across nine ethnic groups identify the extent and influence of ethnic economies in suburban areas. Results. Ethnic economy suburbanization is strongly associated with ethnic residential suburbanization, and earnings are no different in the suburban and urban portions of the ethnic economy. Conclusion. Although existing research highlights the uniqueness of suburban ethnic economies, suburban ethnic economies are delivering outcomes similar to those found in urban areas. This supports the body of literature arguing that differences between immigrant incorporation patterns in cities and suburbs are diminishing.