Measuring the Effect of Immigrant Legal Status on Socioeconomic Outcomes: Variations by Legal Status Assignment Approach [article]

(:Unkn) Unknown, University, My, James D. Bachmeier
This dissertation examines the association between immigrant legal status and several key indicators of socioeconomic wellbeing in the United States. The objective is to test whether estimates of these associations vary depending on the method used to infer legal status in survey data. Specifically, I compare estimates from the following legal status assignment approaches: (1) inferring legal status using a logical imputation method that ignores the existence of legal-status survey questions
more » ... gical approach); (2) defining legal status based on survey questions about legal status (survey approach); (3) using statistical models to assign multiple possible legal statuses in the framework of combined sample multiple imputation (CSMI approach); and (4) using administrative records from the Social Security Administration's Numident database to assign "official" status information to survey respondents (Numident approach). Each chapter can be read as a stand-alone study that uses nationally representative survey data to compare estimates of the association between legal status and a given outcome between two or more assignment approaches. Results from these analyses show that methodological decisions about how to infer the legal status of survey respondents have significant impacts on conclusions about the association between legal status and socioeconomic outcomes. The findings call for a more cautious approach to interpreting research results based on legal status imputations and for greater attention to potential biases introduced by various methodological approaches to inferring individuals' legal status in survey data.
doi:10.34944/dspace/6888 fatcat:blvueafvp5f6fitxgcdkupvrj4