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Negative and Positive Assimilation, Skill Transferability, and Linguistic Distance

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  • Barry R. Chiswick
  • Paul W. Miller

Abstract

This paper synthesizes two models of immigrant assimilation: “positive assimilation” if earnings rise with duration as destination-relevant skills are acquired and “negative assimilation” if immigrants with highly transferable skills experience declining earnings as their economic rent diminishes. Hypotheses are developed and tested with earnings of adult male immigrants in the 2000 U.S. Census. “Linguistic distance” from English of an immigrant’s mother tongue is the index of skill transferability. Only immigrants from English-speaking developed countries experience negative assimilation. Immigrants from other countries experience positive assimilation, the degree of assimilation increasing with linguistic distance.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/664794
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/664794
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 35 - 55

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/664794

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  1. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
  2. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W Miller, 2011. "The Negative Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(3), pages 502-525, April.
  3. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2004. "Linguistic Distance: A Quantitative Measure of the Distance Between English and Other Languages," IZA Discussion Papers 1246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Kerry L. Papps, 2008. "Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 14387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Bloemen, Hans, 2013. "Language Proficiency of Migrants: The Relation with Job Satisfaction and Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 7366, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2013. "Negative and Positive Assimilation By Prices and By Quantities," IZA Discussion Papers 7389, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Marco Delogu & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2014. "The Dynamic Implications of Liberalizing Global Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 4596, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does immigration policy affect the education--occupation mismatch? Evidence from Australia," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 38(2), pages 111-141.
  5. Ingo E. Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Foreign Language Skills of Immigrants in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(4), pages 443-461, December.
  6. Sweetman, A. & Ours, J.C. van, 2014. "Immigration: What About the Children and Grandchildren?," Discussion Paper 2014-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Steinar Strøm & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 2013. "Wage assimilation: migrants versus natives and foreign migrants versus internal migrants," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/30, European University Institute.
  8. Vaira-Lucero, Matias & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Socioeconomic Assimilation and Wealth Accumulation of Migrants in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 6969, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Massimiliano Tani & Christopher Heaton & Gavin Chan, 2013. "The Wage Premium of Foreign Education: New Evidence from Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(4), pages 395-404, December.

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