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Why Is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants?

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Author Info

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

This paper is concerned with why immigrants appear to have consistently lower partial effects of schooling on earnings than the native born, both across destinations and in different time periods within countries. It uses the Over-Under-Required education approach to occupations, a new decomposition technique developed especially for this approach, and data from the 2000 Census of the United States. Based on the average (mean or mode) level of schooling in their occupation, the schooling of the native and foreign born adult men is divided into the "required" (average) level, and years of under- or overeducation. Immigrants have a wider variance in schooling, with an especially large proportion undereducated given the average schooling level in their occupation. Immigrants are shown to receive approximately the same rate of return to the "required" (occupational norm) level of education, but experience a smaller negative effect of years of undereducation, and to a lesser extent a small positive effect of overeducation. About two-thirds of the smaller effect of schooling on earnings for immigrants is due to their different payoffs to undereducation and overeducation. The remainder is largely due to their different distribution of years of schooling. The country-of-origin differences in the returns to under- and overeducation are consistent with country differences in the international transferability of skills to the US and the favorable selectivity of economic migrants, especially those from countries other than the English-speaking developed countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1731.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2008, 15 (6),1317-1340
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1731

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Keywords: earnings; schooling; rates of return; occupations; immigrants; selectivity;

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References

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  1. SĂ©amus McGuinness, 2006. "Overeducation in the Labour Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 387-418, 07.
  2. Cortes, Kalena E., 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 153-68, May.
  4. Barry Chiswick, 2003. "Jacob Mincer, Experience and the Distribution of Earnings," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 343-361, December.
  5. Daly, Mary C. & Buchel, Felix & Duncan, Greg J., 2000. "Premiums and penalties for surplus and deficit education: Evidence from the United States and Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-178, April.
  6. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1998. "The earnings of male immigrants in England: evidence from the quarterly LFS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(9), pages 1157-1168.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1980. "The Earnings of White and Coloured Male Immigrants in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 81-87, February.
  8. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1985. "Immigrant Generation and Income in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(173), pages 540-53, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  11. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  12. Beggs, John J & Chapman, Bruce J, 1988. "Immigrant Wage Adjustment in Australia: Cross Section and Time-Series Estimates," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 64(186), pages 161-67, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
  15. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
  16. Rumberger, Russell W., 1981. "The rising incidence of overeducation in the U.S. Labor market," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 293-314, June.
  17. Richard Fry & B. Lindsay Lowell, 2003. "The value of bilingualism in the U.S. labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 128-141, October.
  18. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
  19. Richard R. Verdugo & Naomi Turner Verdugo, 1989. "The Impact of Surplus Schooling on Earnings: Some Additional Findings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 629-643.
  20. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosensweig & James P. Smith, 2003. "The Earnings of US immigrants," Labor and Demography 0312007, EconWPA.
  22. Kalena E. Cortes, 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 465-480, May.
  23. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 2670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Cohn, Elchanan & Khan, Shahina P., 1995. "The wage effects of overschooling revisited," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-76, March.
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