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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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References

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  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2010. "The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:9, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  2. 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.
  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. Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Does Immigration Policy Affect the Education-Occupation Mismatch? Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 6937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Chan, Gavin & Heaton, Christopher & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "The Wage Premium of Foreign Education: New Evidence from Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 6578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Strom, Steinar & Venturini, Alessandra & Villosio, Claudia, 2013. "Wage Assimilation: Migrants versus Natives and Foreign Migrants versus Internal Migrants," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201341, University of Turin.
  4. Sweetman, Arthur & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Immigration: What about the Children and Grandchildren?," IZA Discussion Papers 7919, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Marco DELOGU & Joël MACHADO, 2014. "The dynamic implications of liberalizing global migration," Working Papers P88, FERDI.
  6. 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).
  7. Ingo Isphording, 2013. "Returns to Local and Foreign Language Skills – Causal Evidence from Spain," Ruhr Economic Papers 0398, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  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. 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).

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