(2018) Immigration Policy and the Shaping of U.S. Culture: Becoming America. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.



We examine the relationships between immigration policy, observed immigration patterns, and the cultural differences between the United States and immigrants’ source countries. The entirety of U.S. immigration history (1607-2015) is reviewed through a recounting of related legislative acts and by examining corresponding data on immigrant inflows. A descriptive analysis of the cultural differences between the U.S. and several cohorts of countries suggests that until recent decades the pattern and volume of immigrant arrivals had led American culture to be more similar to the cultures of European societies (predominantly, countries in Northern and Western Europe) and of societies largely settled by Europeans (i.e., Canada and Australia and New Zealand) and to be somewhat dissimilar to the cultures of other immigrant source countries/regions. Since the Hart-Celler Act was implemented in 1968, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa have emerged as the primary source regions of U.S. immigrant arrivals. Our analysis includes tests for structural breaks in the level of the immigrant inflow series. Significant breaks are found, and the breaks correspond with key changes in U.S. immigration policy and with significant changes in the levels of immigrant arrivals. Our analysis also suggests that American culture is becoming more similar to the cultures of the source countries of recent immigrant arrivals. Employing population projections for the period 2015-2065, we provide expectations of further cultural change and discuss corresponding public policy implications. The observed policy choices and the observed and expected patterns of immigration to the U.S. provide a basis for interesting inferences regarding the future of American culture.



(2017) Public Opinion on Economic Globalization – Considering Immigration, International Trade, and Foreign Direct Investment. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


This book examines survey data to consider the extent to which public support for immigration, international trade, and foreign direct investment exists in a cohort of 38 heterogeneous countries. With economic globalization shaping daily life, understanding the determinants of public opinion is crucial for policy makers. This timely volume uses survey data from the Pew Research Center’s 2006-2014 Global Attitudes Project (GAP) in conjunction with data from several secondary sources. The work identifies the factors that underlie the reluctance of some members of the public, and some societies, to view these topics in a more positive light. Specifically, we consider the roles of culture, cultural differences ("cultural distance"), and relative social and economic development as determinants of public opinion and corresponding cross-societal differences of opinion.



(2017) Multidimensional Poverty and Deprivation: Measurement, Incidence and Determinants (editor). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


This edited collection provides a comprehensive examination of multidimensional poverty for a wide variety of economies and societies, with a general focus on multidimensional poverty in developed countries, where poverty is often overlooked. Arguing that income- and consumption-based measures of poverty cannot provide a full picture of the presence and extent of poverty, the contributors suggest new ways to structure assessment indexes. Complementing the discussion of new rubrics, a series of single-country and comparative examples from Europe and the United States examine variation in multidimensional poverty incidence and the extent of deprivation.




(2015) Cultural Differences and Economic Globalization: Effects on Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Migration. Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge.




Economic globalization is the process of increased integration among nations, characterized and fostered by three elements of international trade- goods and services, international capital flows, and international migration. In recent decades, international economic integration has increased both in depth (more pronounced bilateral connections) and in breadth (connections have become more commonplace), thus, the global economy has become increasingly integrated. Societies receive tremendous net benefits from economic globalization; however, accessing these benefits may be limited by cross-societal cultural differences.


This book examines cultural differences as a potential impediment to economic integration. Relying on rigorous statistical and econometric techniques, the analyses indicate that higher transaction costs, due to greater cultural distance, inhibit both the volume of trade flows and the successful completion of trade deals. Cultural distance appears to reduce foreign direct investment, as well as divert investment to less culturally-distant destinations. This book finds a negative relationship between migration flows and cultural distance. It considers the common criticism that repeated and intensified integration diminishes cultural differences, resulting in cultural homogeneity.



(2014) Making Sense of Anti-Trade Sentiment: International Trade and the American Worker. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.




Opinion polls indicate that a considerable portion of the U.S. public holds negative views of international trade. The extent of anti-trade sentiment exhibited by the American public is largely out of step with public opinion elsewhere in the world. In fact, the U.S. may be one of the most trade-wary societies. Worries that trade, particularly increased imports, will lead to job loss and/or reduced wages for domestic workers are thought to underlie the negative views. Examining the extent to which trade adversely affects domestic workers, White documents statistical relationships between exports and imports and domestic employment/wages; however, the magnitudes of the estimated effects appear too small to justify public opinion on the topic. To better understand U.S. public opinion of international trade, and to explain why Americans are, in general, less supportive of trade, the author considers loss-aversion, incomplete/imperfect information, and the ability to process information as possible alternative explanations.



(2011) International Migration and Economic Integration: Understanding the Immigrant-Trade Link. with Bedassa Tadesse. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.




We examine the influence of immigrants on the process of international economic integration – specifically, their influences on bilateral and multilateral trade flows. Applying the augmented gravity model to data on trade and migration, we complete analyses involving as few as one host country and 54 home countries to as many as 110 host countries and 131 home countries to provide answers to the following questions: Do immigrants exert positive influences on trade in goods between their respective host and home countries? Are these pro-trade effects homogenous across immigrant entry classifications, product types and industry/sector classifications? Do these influences extend to trade in services? Do differences in levels of economic and/or social development for immigrants’ host and home countries affect the existence or the magnitude of the immigrant-trade link? Have immigration policies influenced the immigrant-trade relationship? To what extent do cultural differences between immigrants’ home and host countries inhibit trade flows and, if so, do immigrants’ pro-trade influences counter the trade-inhibiting effects of cultural distance? Is there variation in immigrants’ pro-trade influences across migration corridors? Is the immigrant-trade link conditional on the volume of home-host country trade? Are the effects of immigrants (emigrants) on trade universal? What factors/conditions correlate with the existence and operability of the immigrant-trade link?


We present abundant evidence supporting the notion that immigrants generally exert positive influences on home-host country trade. The pattern of significance and magnitudes of estimated effects are consistent with the channels through which immigrants are thought to influence trade; however, we find heterogeneity in the existence and magnitude of the immigrant-trade link across product types, industry and sector classifications, immigrant entry classifications, host/home country characteristics, and so on. Simply put, the immigrant-trade link is not universal and its operability appears to depend on the conditions that immigrants face.



(2010) Migration and International Trade: The US Experience since 1945. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar Publishing.




This book synthesizes and extends the immigrant–trade literature and provides comprehensive coverage of this timely and important topic. In that vein, it contributes to the understanding of the relationship between immigration and trade and sheds light on a noteworthy aspect of globalization that both confronts policymakers with challenges and offers the potential to overcome them.


More specifically, this work examines the influence of immigrants on US imports from and exports to their respective home countries. This includes an overview of the immigrant-trade link is provided along with a discussion of the related theoretical intuition/framework and a review of the literature. A series of related hypotheses are addressed during the empirical analysis, and underlying factors that may affect the operability of the link are examined. Following presentation of the empirical results, the work concludes by considering the public policy implications.


We document the pro-trade influences that immigrants have on US imports from, and exports to, their respective home countries. Variations in the immigrant–trade link are addressed, as are the underlying factors that may determine the existence and operability of that link. The findings have direct implications for US immigration policy, suggesting that too few immigrants are currently admitted to the country and that a more liberal immigration policy may enhance social welfare.



Book Chapters



(2017) “Multidimensional Poverty Among Native- and Foreign-born Cohorts in the U.S.: Evidence from the 2010-2014 American Community Surveys” with Stacy Yamasaki, in Multidimensional Poverty and Deprivation: Measurement, Incidence and Determinants. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.




We examine data from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample files (U.S. Census, 2016) and employ the methodology of Alkire and Foster (2009) to measure multidimensional poverty in the United States. While our findings confirm the results of earlier studies, we also report considerable variation across native- and foreign-born residents of the U.S. and across immigrant home countries in terms of the incidence and intensity of deprivation and, thus, in Multidimensional Poverty Index values. Our econometric analysis identifies several factors that contribute to multidimensional poverty and, again, we examine variation in the determinants across both native- and foreign-born cohorts as well as across groupings of immigrants’ home countries that are based on relative incidence and intensity of deprivation.




(2016) “A Culture Shaped by Immigrants: Examining the Consequences of U.S. Immigration Policy” with Shane Francis, in International Migration: Politics, Policies and Practices, Nova Science Publishers: Hauppauge, NY.




We examine U.S. immigration history both by recounting the related legislative history and by examining data on immigrant inflows and inflow shares during the period from 1820 through 2013. A descriptive analysis of the cultural differences between the U.S. and several cohorts of countries suggests that U.S. culture has been shaped by the pattern of immigrant arrivals. Broadly stated, American culture has evolved to be similar to those of European societies (predominantly, countries in Northern and Western Europe) and to largely be dissimilar to the cultures of other regions. Following the enactment of the Hart-Celler Act in 1968, the primary source regions of U.S. immigrant arrivals shifted to Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin, and (to a lesser degree) Africa. We find some evidence that the U.S. has become more similar to the cultures of the recent arrivals’ source countries. Our econometric analysis tests for structural breaks in the level of the immigrant inflow and inflow share series. The results support our general findings. We find clear evidence of significant breaks in the immigrant inflow series and in the immigrant inflow share series. The detected structural breaks correspond with key pieces of legislation that have significantly influenced U.S. immigration policy.



(2014) “A Factor Endowment Explanation for China’s Emergence as an International Trading Power: Calibrating the Dornbusch-Fischer-Samuelson Model for China’s Trade, 1968-2008”, in Current Issues in International Trade: Methodologies and Development Implications for the World Economy, Gouranga G. Das (ed.) Hauppauge, NY, USA: Nova Science Publishers.




Much has been made of the rise of China’s economy and its emergence as a global trading power. Standard trade theory holds that comparative advantage is the basis for mutually beneficial exchange and, as such, it is the basis for international trade. In this chapter, we employ data that span the period from 1968 through 2008 to calibrate the Dornbusch-Fischer-Samuelson model of Ricardian comparative advantage. In particular, we examine changes in labor supplies, capital stocks, and technology as possible explanations for the rise of China as an international trading power. We then conduct a regression analysis, using data for the years 1972-2007, to explore corresponding labor market implications, in the form of trade-induced changes in industry-level employment and average wages, for both production workers and non-production workers in the United States manufacturing sector.


Calibration of the DFS model suggests that China has gained comparative advantage relative to the US and to the cohort of high income countries considered in this study. Even though US production has increased since 1968 at both the extensive margin and at the intensive margin, China’s emergence as a trading power may have adversely affected US labor. To discern the extent of labor market effects that may be attributable to increased trade, and particularly the effects of increased trade with China, we estimate a series of dynamic regression models to isolate the influences of exports and import penetration. Among other findings, greater import penetration from China has negatively affected employment of both production workers and non-production workers, and increased exports to China have had a limited positive effect on the average wages of non-production workers.



(2010) “Cultural Diversity, Immigration and International Trade: Some Empirical Observations from Nine OECD Host Countries,” with Bedassa Tadesse, in Lydia B. Kerwin (ed.) Cultural Diversity: Issues, Challenges and Perspectives, Hauppauge, NY, USA: Nova Science Publishers. Reprinted: 2011. Encyclopedia of Sociology Research, Miranda O. Parker and Alexander D. Petrov (eds.), pp. 775-808.




Employing data from nine OECD immigrant host countries and 67 trading partners for the years 1996-2001, we examine the inter-relationships between immigration, cultural diversity and trade. We find greater cultural differences between immigrants’ host and home countries inhibit trade flows. However, immigrants exert pro-trade influences that partially offset the effect of cultural distance. We also find that cultural diversity within the immigrants’ host countries fosters the creation of trade between immigrants’ host and home countries. The findings suggest that immigrant trade-links depend, in part, on the characteristics of the host country relative to the home country; which may facilitate or inhibit the abilities of immigrants to exert pro-trade influences.




Last updated: October 4, 2018.