Harriet Orcutt Duleep is a Research Professor with the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy of the College of William and Mary. She received her doctorate in economics from MIT. Her main areas of research include immigration, mortality, minority economic status, and women's labor force behavior.
In immigration, she has worked to develop two models of immigrant economic assimilation. The crux of the Immigrant Human Capital Investment model, co-developed with Mark Regets, is that imported human capital is more valuable in learning than in earning, with this being increasingly true the lower immigrants' skill transferability to the host country. An important prediction of the model is that, controlling for level of human capital, there will be an inverse relationship between immigrant entry earnings and subsequent earnings growth. A synopsis of research related to this model, including its implications for earnings convergence among immigrants entering under different admission criteria and from different source countries, is in the May 1999 issue of the American Economic Review, reprinted in The Economics of Migration, edited by Klaus Zimmerman and Thomas Bauer.
Along with Seth Sanders, and Canadian economists Chris Worswick, Charles Beach, Dwayne Benjamin, and Michael Baker, she has also worked to develop a Family Investment Model of immigrant economic assimilation.
She has also co-authored with Dan Dowhan several papers on immigrant earnings growth using longitudinal Social Security administrative records matched to survey data.
In her work on mortality and income, first begun in her dissertation, Duleep used longitudinal data on individual earnings and health status matched to mortality records to address several previously unanswered questions concerning the relationship between income and mortality. The results, presented in a Journal of Human Resources (Spring, 1986) paper, showed that the estimated adverse effect on mortality associated with low income decreases when health problems that may have affected income are controlled for, thereby providing evidence that some of the negative income-mortality association is due to the effect of poor health on income. Yet, a strong inverse relationship between income and mortality risk persists. Her work also showed that the adverse effect of low income on mortality and disability increases when measures of usual income are used, instead of one-year measurements, and that income's effect on mortality is highly nonlinear, with large decreases in mortality associated with changes in income at the low end, but decreasing at higher income levels. She is continuing research on the causal factors underlying the strong association of low income and mortality in the United States.
Her work on discrimination and minority economic progress includes a novel theoretical perspective on the measurement of discrimination ("The Measurement of Labor Market Discrimination When Minorities Respond to Discrimination," with Nadja Zalokar, in Richard Cornwall and Phanindra Wunnava, eds., New Approaches to Economic and Social Analyses of Discrimination, NY: Praeger Press, 1991) and measurement of discrimination at the top ("An Exploratory Analysis of Discrimination at the Top: American-Born Asian and White Men," with Seth Sanders, Industrial Relations, Fall 1992).
Harriet Duleep joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2000.