The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

Rebbeca Tesfai

Assistant Professor

742 Gladfelter Hall

office hours

Fall 2013

M 3-5pm; W 10-11AM


BA - Johns Hopkins University

MPH - University of Michigan School of Public Health

MA Demography

PhD in Demography & Sociology, University of Pennsylvania


areas of expertise


Race, Ethnicity, & Immigration

courses I teach

Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences

links I like


Download my vita.


My research interests are the socioeconomic outcomes of immigrants, ethnic enclaves, and the physical and mental health of immigrants. My work focuses on how race and nativity interact to affect the experiences of immigrants in the United States.


I investigated the economic outcomes of foreign-born blacks in my past research in order to evaluate how black immigrants may be redefining what it means to be black in the United States. Using U.S. census data, this work explored the hourly wages, homeownership and house value, and locational attainment of black immigrants.


In the analysis of wages I found that, unlike previous research, black immigrants actually earn significantly lower wages than U.S.-born blacks. I have also investigated the housing market outcomes of black African and non-Hispanic Caribbean immigrants to ascertain the implications of black immigrant homeownership on racial stratification and immigrant incorporation research. In this work I found that black immigrants have higher home values than their U.S.-born counterparts indicating that they are able to gain access to neighborhoods that U.S.-born blacks are not. This finding was confirmed in my research on the locational attainment of black immigrants in the United States. I found that foreign-born blacks are less racially and socioeconomically segregated than U.S.-born blacks.


My current research continues to focus on black immigrants, but I have now expanded my work to investigate the effect of structural barriers on black immigrant socioeconomic outcomes. In order to get a better idea of how these barriers work, I am currently conducting cross-national research comparing socioeconomic outcomes of black immigrants. Specifically, I am comparing the educational attainment of second-generation black immigrants in the United States and Canada. The differences between the two countries in terms of race relations and immigration laws make them ideally suited for research on the role of structural barriers in black immigrant socioeconomic advancement and assimilation patterns.






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department of sociology | 713 gladfelter hall | 1115 west polett walk
philadelphia, pa 19122 | (215) 204-7760 | fax: (215) 204-3352 |