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The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

Research on the economic or labor market assimilation of immigrants has to date focused on the degree of improvement in their economic status with duration in the destination. This pattern has been found for all the immigrant receiving countries, time periods and data sets that have been studied. The theoretical underpinning for this finding is the international transferability of skills. This paper addresses whether positive assimilation will be found if skills are very highly transferable internationally. It outlines the conditions for “negative” assimilation in the context of the traditional immigration assimilation model, and examines the empirical relevance of the hypothesis using data on immigrants from the English-speaking developed countries (i.e., the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia/New Zealand) to the United States. Comparisons with the native born are also presented to test whether the findings are sensitive to immigrant cohort quality effects. Even after controlling for cohort effects, “negative” assimilation (a decline in earnings with duration) is found for immigrants in the US from 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 3563.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2011, 64 (3), 502-525
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3563

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Keywords: assimilation; earnings; immigrants;

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References

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  1. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2005. "Why Is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants?," IZA Discussion Papers 1731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "Occupational Attainment and Immigrant Economic Progress in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 3316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Edward Funkhouser & Stephen J. Trejo, 1995. "The labor market skills of recent male immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 792-811, July.
  5. Beenstock, Michael & Chiswick, Barry R. & Paltiel, Ari, 2005. "Endogenous Assimilation and Immigrant Adjustment in Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Sanromá, Esteban & Ramos, Raul & Simón, Hipólito, 2009. "Immigrant Wages in the Spanish Labour Market: Does the Origin of Human Capital Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4157, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Occupational Attainment And Immigrant Economic Progress In Australia," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 08-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2012. "Negative and Positive Assimilation, Skill Transferability, and Linguistic Distance," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 35 - 55.
  4. Aleksynska, Mariya & Tritah, Ahmed, 2013. "Occupation–education mismatch of immigrant workers in Europe: Context and policies," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 229-244.

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