The Careers of Immigrants
AbstractI use a unique linked employer employee panel covering all wage earners in the private sector in Portugal to shed new light on the careers of immigrants. During the first ten years in the country immigrants close one third of the initial immigrant-native wage gap. I show that one third of this wage catch-up is accounted for by firm heterogeneity: Immigrants remain in the same occupations but get jobs with better paying _rms. Over time immigrants move to larger, more productive firms and with a higher share of native workers. These patterns are similar for all the recent immigrants irrespective of their origin and in particular of whether their mother tongue is the host country's language. Motivated by these new stylized facts, I suggest an economic assimilation mechanism which highlights imperfect information about immigrant productivity. I build an employer learning model with firm heterogeneity and complementarities between worker and firm type. The initial uncertainty over immigrants' productivity prevents them from getting access to the best jobs. Over time, productivity is revealed and immigrants obtain better firm matches. I derive predictions on the immigrant wage distributions over time, on their mobility patterns and on the productivity distribution of firms they are matched with. The predictions of the model are in line with the data and are not trivially derived from competing explanations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1171.
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
Wage differentials; wage convergence; job mobility; immigration; linked employer-employee panel data;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2012-11-03 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LMA-2012-11-03 (Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, & Wages)
- NEP-MIG-2012-11-03 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-80, June.
- Krishna Pendakur & Simon Woodcock, 2008.
"Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms,"
dp08-02, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
- Pendakur, Krishna & Woodcock, Simon, 2010. "Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 181-189.
- Pendakur, Krishna & Woodcock, Simon D., 2009. "Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 4626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Pendakur, Krishna & Woodcock, Simon, 2009. "Glass Ceilings or Glass Doors? Wage Disparity Within and Between Firms," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-55, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Oct 2009.
- Fredrik Andersson & Mónica García-Pérez & John C. Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2010.
"Workplace Concentration of Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
16544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fredrik Andersson & Monica Garcia-Perez & John Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2010. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," Working Papers 10-39r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Nov 2011.
- Monica I. Garcia-Perez & Fredrik Andersson & John Haltiwanger & Fredrik Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2011. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," Working Papers 2011-20, Saint Cloud State University, Department of Economics.
- Eckstein, Zvi & Weiss, Yoram, 2003.
"On the Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000,"
IZA Discussion Papers
710, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Zvi Eckstein & Yoram Weiss, 2004. "On The Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 665-695, 06.
- Eckstein, Zvi & Weiss, Yoram, 2003. "On the Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 3770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Differential within and across Establishments," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 334-352, April.
- Paulo Guimarães & Pedro Portugal, 2009.
"A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects,"
w200909, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
- Guimaraes, Paulo & Portugal, Pedro, 2009. "A Simple Feasible Alternative Procedure to Estimate Models with High-Dimensional Fixed Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Fabian Lange, 2007. "The Speed of Employer Learning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 1-35.
- Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.