This research paper is for the course “Economics of the Metropolitan Area”This paper must be written in four sections – introduction, literature review (with a minimum of 4 sources cited), data and methodology, and results. (ending with works cited)For the census data, you must use American Community Survey data, available on https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/…And plot a scatter plot graph (as shown on the results example.doc file)I have attached a sample example of a research paper structured exactly to my requirements (including all graphs). Please go through it, and write up a similar paper.Write about a topic related to foreign born (immigrants) and a problem related to them that affects metropolitan areas in USA. Before you start writing the paper, please provide me with a list of topics that you would be comfortable writing about, for my approval.
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Immigration and Median Income of Metropolitan Areas
Reflecting the division in the United States on how to address immigration
concerns, one observation is that the United States Congress has thus far failed to pass
any legislation to reform our immigration laws. One reason for this failure is that little
empirical data is used to elucidate the costs and contributions that immigrants generate.
For example, some say that immigrants drive down wages and depress local economies,
while others say that immigrants make economic contributions to metropolitan areas.
This paper addresses the question of the influence of immigrants on median household
income for metropolitan areas in the United States. It hypothesizes that metropolitan
areas with higher concentrations of immigrants will have higher median household
income. The paper uses 2000 U.S. Census data to examine the relationship of the
concentration of immigrants (percent foreign-born) and median household income of the
389 metropolitan areas in the United States. In a subsequent analysis, the concentrations
of Latino and Asian immigrants are analyzed separately to identify if any differences in
immigrant origin exist among metropolitan economies.
This proposal consists of three parts: (1) A problem statement that explains your
motivation for writing the paper. It should grab the readers interest. (2) A research
question or hypothesis that is specific and answerable. (3) And data that will be analyzed
to answer the above question.
Reflecting the division of the country on how to address immigration concerns, the
United States Congress has thus far failed to pass any legislation to reform our
immigration laws. One reason for this is that little empirical data is used to elucidate this
issue so that appropriate laws can be passed.
Research Question or Hypothesis:
For example, some say that immigrants drive down wages and depress economies, while
others say that immigrants make economic contributions to metropolitan areas. This
paper addresses the question of the influence of immigrants on median household income
for metropolitan areas in the United States. It hypothesizes that metropolitan areas with
higher concentrations of immigrants will have higher median household income.
The paper uses 2000 U.S. Census data to examine the relationship of the
concentration of immigrants (percent foreign-born) and the median household income of
the 389 metropolitan areas in the United States. In a subsequent analysis, the
concentrations of Latino and Asian immigrants are analyzed separately to identify if any
differences in immigrant origin exist among metropolitan economies.
Data and Methods
The data for this research are from the United States 2012 American Community Survey
(ACS). The ACS results are extensive and display analytical tables on population in the
United States including race, age, family structure, housing, and employment. The ACS
shows economic characteristics for the United States as well as selected housing
characteristics for the given year. The census identifies 3,219 counties, which are
aggregated them into 366 metropolitan areas for this research. This survey is a sample of
the population and its methodology differs from the decennial census in that it provides
population estimates not counts. This means that the ACS reports margin of errors. In this
survey, for any individual living a household, they are asked over fifty questions about
their race, level of education, marital status, employment, types of income and many
more. The data used in this research were obtained from the censuss American
Factfinder website and uses tables (B03001 and B 05006) in the 2012 ACS.
To test my hypothesis of families and their poverty income level and those who
receive public assistance who drive people away of the middle class making close to or
just about the median income of their area, I will create one variable to measure those
who receive public assistance. The percentage of households who receive public
assistance is created by dividing the number of households who received public
assistance by the total number of households in a metropolitan area. The other variable I
will use is median household income. This variable is taken from the 2012 ACS but it
identifies household income in 2011. A scatter plot will be analyzed to identify the
relationship of these variables. I hypothesize that areas with more households in poverty
will have lower median income.
THE INFLUENCES OF NETWORK SOCIAL CAPITAL ACCUMULATION AND
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS ON MEXICAN MIGRANTS WAGES
Social capital and civic participation in particular are thought to be in decline
across the United States, (Putnam 2000) and ethnic diversity and migration tend to reduce
social capital (Putnam 2007). It could play a significant role for the foreign born in a
variety of socioeconomic outcomes including wages. Social capital is clearly important
in the migratory process (Massey, Goldring et al. 1994; Marcelli and Cornelius 2001), but
some debate exists regarding its ability to provide a benefit in the labor market (Aguilera
and Massey 2003; Mouw 2003). Women and men experience the labor market
differently with more men participating in the formal labor market and earning higher
wages because of many factors including discrimination, occupational segregation, and
longer and less interrupted work histories (Ehrenberg and Smith 2003). Social capital
appears to benefit women in many areas but not in employment and earnings (Caiazza
and Putnam 2005). In light of these concerns, we test our hypotheses by analyzing
models for women and men separately.
Three hypotheses guide this investigation of network social capital–both
reciprocal exchange and participation in civic organizations–on the wages of Mexican
men and women in Los Angeles County.
Hypothesis 1: Participation in civic organizations, one form of network social
capital, provides access to information and resources that augment Mexican
migrants wages, while reciprocal social network exchange does not.
Attending meetings of civic organizations may provide an economic benefit as migrants
obtain access to information and resources that could help them find employment with
better wages. However, low-income individuals like other groups in the United States
have been attending fewer meetings during the last quarter of the twentieth century, as
the average number of meetings attended for the poorest third of the population declined
from nine to four (Putnam 2000). The mechanism through which network social capital
is transferred through participation in civic meetings is not clearly understood. Social
networks frequently consist of homogenous individuals (McPherson and Smith-Lovin
1982) and may not provide access to a range of information necessary for a successful
job search for a low-income migrant population. In contrast, attending meetings of civic
organizations is thought to provide an opportunity to gain exposure to information and
resources that otherwise might not be available in migrants immediate social networks
(Putnam 2000). Organizational membership is not necessarily selective because many
organizations desire to expand their membership base. Individuals, therefore, possibly
meet a variety of people that they might not be exposed to in their regular social network
interactions. These other individuals would more likely possess non-redundant
information because of their different access to information in their various network
connections. For example, even though religious organizations are frequently segregated
by race, they have a more diverse membership in regards to income. This membership
diversity might assist lower income migrants in finding jobs with higher wages.
Putnams research (1993) on the economic benefit of stocks of social capital in
explaining economic growth in Italy suggests that social capital could play an important
role in a number of economic indicators including wage growth. Evidence supports this
claim for an unauthorized migrant population. Aguilera and Massey (2003) find that
social capital is positively associated with the earnings of authorized and unauthorized
Mexican men. They measure social network participation by a persons interaction with
people and institutions. This includes participating in sports organizations or belonging
to social organizations, and this measure of social capital is positively associated with
undocumented Mexican mens wages. They also measure social capital by family and
friendship tie and find that far family ties and friendship ties are positively associated
with unauthorized mens wages. Thus, network social capital that unauthorized Mexican
men develop by attending meetings of civic organizations is expected to provide access
to information and resources that leads to jobs that offer higher wages.
Hypothesis 2: Network social capital works differently in the labor market for
men and women. Mexican men benefit from both forms of network social
capital–civic participation and network reciprocity–in earning higher wages,
while women do not receive the same benefit.
Social capital appears to be accumulated in the neighborhood and at work for Mexican
migrants, and men accumulate more social capital than women through reciprocal social
network exchange (Granberry and Marcelli 2007). Some debate exists about womens
ability to use social networks to provide higher wages. Social networks traditionally have
been thought to benefit males more than females (Lin 2000b); however, Aguilera (2008)
finds that women receive a wage premium from social network participation, while men
do not. Women who use a close family member or friend to find employment earn
higher wages, but this is not the case for Latina women.
In general, women have more family members in their social network, while men
appear to develop more relationships outside the family and neighborhood that include
more coworkers, (Moore 1990; Sassen 1995). Women develop closer network
relationships that might influence their social capital accumulation. Stacks (1974)
ethnographic work with low-income black families illuminates how women develop
strong ties with other women in their community to provide support for their families.
These strong ties are important in developing informal support structures to manage their
Williams and Windebanks (2006) research in the United
Kingdom supports these findings as low wages in the informal labor market are reflective
of womens willingness to work for kin, friends, or neighbors. In addition to economic
and social support, these strong ties may provide access to redundant information and
resources that do not assist low-income individuals access to new labor market
opportunities. Participation in networks with weak ties are beneficial because weak ties
provide access to non-redundant information and resources that are important in job
searches (Granovetter 1974). Low-income womens focus on providing support for their
families that foster dependence on strong ties may have an unintended negative
consequence of limiting their access to important information and resources necessary for
success in the formal labor market.
Network social capital accumulated through reciprocal exchange could
inadvertently trap migrants, especially women, in social networks that provide redundant
information that limits their access to information and resources, especially for labor
market participation. Social capital is shaped by social network quality, and Mexican
migrants who have lower SES have social network members with similar economic
characteristics, who cannot help them fare better in the labor market (Mouw 2003). This
negative characteristic of network social capital could be more pronounced for women.
Smith (2000) investigates the use of personal contacts in a job search and finds that social
capital provides a wage penalty for Latina women even when they use weak ties to find
employment. Thus, the network social capital that unauthorized Mexican women
develop through social network reciprocity and by attending meetings of civic
organizations is not expected to provide access to information and resources that leads to
jobs that offer higher wages.
Hypothesis 3: Because of social inequality, both forms of network social capital
are unable to mediate negative institutional forces (e.g., segmented labor market,
unauthorized immigration, family care giving roles) that reduce Mexican
Social inequalities shape social capital accumulation and limit network social capitals
potential to provide economic benefits for individuals in disadvantaged neighborhoods
(Lin 2000a). The embedded strengths and weaknesses of the community influence
network social capital that is accumulated in social relationships and from membership in
civic organizations. This institutional support can drift away from vulnerable populations
as it did when middle income individuals left the inner city for the suburbs (Wilson
1987). Even when it is present, it is not easily transferred for a migrant community.
Ethnic enclaves are important for support in personal, cultural, and economic domains,
but this support comes with unwanted restrictions. The costs of community solidarity
that promotes closure in family and community relationships could outweigh the benefits
provided because of limitations resulting from exclusion of outsiders, restriction of
personal freedom, and excessive claims on group members (Portes and Sensenbrenner
1993; Portes 1998). This focus on social closure could be even more difficult for women
to navigate because as they are exposed to new social freedoms in the United States, they
still experience traditional expectations on how to contribute to the household economy.
When migrants strive to strengthen their social network relationships, institutional
forces loom large as social capital accumulated through truncated social networks is
influenced by the lower SES of the network members. These social networks fail to
provide information about jobs or how to prepare individuals to enter the labor market
(Fernandez-Kelly 1995). In addition, influences from macro issues like occupational
segregation (Piore 1979) sort Mexican migrants into low-wage jobs with little chance of
upward career mobility(Catanzarite 2000; Cobb-Clark and Kossoudji 2000).
Livingstons (2006) research suggests that Mexican women who reside longer in the
United States are able to use their social capital to secure employment, but the segmented
labor market looms large in limiting their career mobility. In addition, family and ethnic
ties limit labor market outcomes for unauthorized Latina migrants by the types of jobs
they access, and the household responsibilities expected of them (Menjivar 1999; Smith
Women face care giving responsibilities that flow from a historic division of
unpaid household labor that could limit their ability to develop the necessary social
network relationships to provide access to better paying jobs. Women spend more time
out of the labor market because of family responsibilities, and women with children
receive a wage penalty compared to women without children (Waldfogel 1997;
Ehrenberg and Smith 2003). Some women may participate in formal organizations in
hopes of maximizing the benefits of the social capital they accumulate to find better
paying jobs, and Latina mothers are more likely to provide volunteer service in poor
neighborhoods (Casciano 2007). However, these community responsibilities may limit
their ability to gain success in the labor market. Facing this institutional hurdle, some
women direct their attention to informal local networks to find support. These networks
have important social support resources but limited economic resources that can be
transferred through reciprocal exchange or civic participation (Agarwal 2000; Lowndes
2004; Westermann, Ashby et al. 2005). In light of these problems, Molyneux (2002)
questions social capitals efficacy for women because of the inherent residue from
structural inequalities based on years of traditional household practices.
Unauthorized immigration status is another institution in the United States that
shapes wages (Marcelli 2004). Unauthorized status appears to be negatively associated
with Mexican migrant wages, though some debate exists in the literature. Recent
research by Rivera-Batiz (1999), Kossoudji and Cobb-Clark (2002), and Marcelli (2004)
consistently finds that unauthorized status carries a wage penalty for Mexican men.
However, Massey (1987) finds that unauthorized status carries no wage penalty. This
difference may be explained by stricter enforcement of immigration laws post
Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 (Donato, Aguilera et al. 2005). In
regards to gender, Aguilera (2004) finds that legalization through IRCA benefited
women, and Cobb-Clark and Kossoudji (2000) report a wage penalty for unauthorized
Mexican women. In addition, unauthorized immigration status and social capital have a
combined negative influence resulting from the bounded solidarity of community ties that
initially make an employment connection. Formally undocumented workers have longer
job tenure and accept the golden handcuffs of a present job, instead of actively
searching for a job with better wages (Aguilera 2003). Thus, network social capital that
unauthorized Mexican migrants develop by attending meetings of civic organizations and
reciprocal social network relationships is not expected to mediate negative institutional
Gray, Jerry and Richard Chapman. 2004. The Significance of Segmentation for
Institutionalist Theory and Public Policy, In Dell P. Champlin and Janet T. Knoedler,
Eds., The Institutionalist Tradition in Labor Economics. New York, NY: M. E. Sharpe, pp.
Putnam, Robert. (2007) E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twentyfirst Century, Scandinavian Political Studies. 30(2): 137-174.
Putnam, Robert. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American
Community. New York, Simon & Shuster.
Figure 1 provides evidence to test the hypothesis that percentage of foreign born is related to the
median income of the metropolitan areas. The average percentage of foreign born of these metro is 7.8
and the average median household income is $50,063. These data suggest as the percentage foreign
born increases the median income also increases. Thus, there is a positive relationship between foreign
born in the metropolitan area and its median household income. One of these metropolitan areas with
the highest median household income and percentage foreign born in San Jose, California. One of the
metropolitan areas with low median income and high percentage foreign born is Brownsville, Texas.
Figure 1 Median Household Income and Percentage Foreign Born
Median Household Income
Percentage Foreign Born in the Metropolitan Area
Data Source: 2012 American Community Survey
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