Presumed competent, Asian Americans exhibit the highest level of education and median household income of all major US ethnoracial groups. On average, they outpace all groups in the domain of education, yet they do not maintain their advantage in the labor market. The question of bias against Asian Americans has taken center stage in the most recent SCOTUS ruling on affirmative action, but the attention has been on university admissions. We broaden the focus and rewrite the question to consider how Asian Americans seek to preempt bias in the labor market by strategically adapting to mitigate it. Strategic adaptation begins with precollege education, continues with college choice and major, and entails acquiring elite credentials that signal hard skills and merit. The strategy falls short of obviating bias altogether, however. We show how Asian Americans’ labor market earnings and mobility vary by gender, nativity, national origin, and place of education.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 50 is July 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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