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Human capital and wages: a comparison of Albanian and Italian immigrants

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  • Kate Mane

    ()

  • Brigitte Waldorf

    ()

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    Abstract

    This paper identifies the factors influencing earnings gaps between migrants belonging to old immigrant groups (defined as those with long established migration linkages with the receiving country) and those belonging to new immigrant groups. Earnings are conceptualized as a function of human capital, decomposed into the portion acquired in the home country and the portion acquired in the receiving country. It is hypothesized that poor transferability of human capital acquired at home dampens wages more for new than for old immigrant groups. Further, it is hypothesized that upon arrival in the destination, new immigrant groups accumulate human capital faster than old immigrant groups. The empirical analysis focuses on Albanians in the United States as a representative of a new immigrant group and Italians as a representative of an old immigrant group. The analysis is based on pooled data from the 2000 US Census 5 % sample, and the 2001–2007 American Community Survey (ACS) 3 % sample. Findings suggest that (1) Albanian immigrants earn substantially less than Italian immigrants; (2) human capital acquired at home has a positive impact on wages, but the level of human capital transferability is low for Albanians; (3) upon arrival, both Italian and Albanian immigrants accumulate human capital, but the speed of human capital accumulation is faster for Albanians than for Italians. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (August)
    Pages: 53-72

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:51:y:2013:i:1:p:53-72

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    Keywords: F22; J31; J61;

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    1. Ashraf El-Araby Aly & James Ragan, 2010. "Arab immigrants in the United States: how and why do returns to education vary by country of origin?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 519-538, March.
    2. Raymond J G M Florax & Thomas de Graaff & Brigitte S Waldorf, 2005. "A spatial economic perspective on language acquisition: segregation, networking, and assimilation of immigrants," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(10), pages 1877-1897, October.
    3. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
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    5. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    7. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    8. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
    9. Stewart, James B & Hyclak, Thomas, 1984. "An Analysis of the Earnings Profiles of Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 292-96, May.
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