Immigrant earnings in the Italian labour market
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between individual skills and labour market performance of immigrants residing in Lombardy during the period 2001-2005. We use a recent dataset collected by the NGO ISMU, which includes information on individual characteristics and the legal status of each immigrant. Our results show that returns on schooling are positive and range from 0.8 per cent to 0.9 per cent, a figure that is much lower than the one estimated for native Italians. This result is robust to a number of specifications and tests. In particular, it is not influenced by the legal status of the alien or by a possible self-selection in the labour supply. Moreover, although more talented immigrants tend to self-select in the Lombardy region compared with the other Italian regions, their return on schooling remains low compared with natives. We also show that a certain heterogeneity exists across educational levels and countries of origin: immigrants from Eastern Europe are better able to exploit their human capital, especially when they hold a university degree, while the school-wage profile of Latin Americans and Asians is basically flat. Finally, there is some evidence of a cohort effect in migration, but this tends to impact on the return on experience rather than on the return on schooling.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 695.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Immigration; return on schooling; return on experience;
Other versions of this item:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-01-17 (Development)
- NEP-EEC-2009-01-17 (European Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2009-01-17 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2009-01-17 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2009-01-17 (Economics of Human Migration)
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