The earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers in the United States
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While Asians are overrepresented in science and engineering, they receive limited scholarly attention in sociology of science. To fill the knowledge gap about this understudied group, this study examines the effects of race, nativity, degree origin, gender, field, employment sector, and nationality on the earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers working in the U.S. Data are derived from the National Survey of College Graduates, 1993 and 2003. Using quantile regression, this study has the following findings. First, race and nativity had some effects on the earnings of Asian computer scientists and engineers in 1993 at both 90th and 50th quantiles, but they disappeared in 2003 with one exception. Degree origin had an effect in 1993 in some cases at the 90th quantile but across gender, field, and two sectors at the 50th quantile. However, it disappeared in 2003 with two exceptions. Second, all the four women's groups--white, Asian American, U.S.-, and Asian-educated immigrant women--earned less than their male counterparts in 1993 or 2003 at either quantile. Furthermore, U.S.-educated immigrant women suffered from the double bind effect, or being disadvantaged due to both their gender and race, at the 50th quantile. Third, computer scientists earned slightly more than their engineer counterparts in both years at both quantiles. Fourth, educational institutions and state/local government paid less than industry in 1993 and 2003 at both quantiles. Federal government eliminated the gap in 2003 at the 50th quantile. Finally, this study finds that a few but not all nationality groups suffered from earning disadvantages in 1993 or 2003 at either quantile. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the earnings of workers in the upper tail (90th quantile) are less influenced by factors that this study examines than those at the median (50th quantile). Overall, the findings partly reaffirm the structural barriers that some groups, notably women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants, face in the U.S. workplace. The degree origin effect in 1993 could be due to the lower quality of degrees from Asia. The disappearance of such an effect in 2003 could be due to the interactions between structural forces and human capital.