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The Portability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence for Spain

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Author Info

  • Sanromá, Esteban

    ()
    (University of Barcelona)

  • Ramos, Raul

    ()
    (University of Barcelona)

  • Simón, Hipólito

    ()
    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

The existing literature on immigrant assimilation has highlighted the imperfect portability of human capital acquired by immigrants in their country of origin (Chiswick, 1978; Friedberg, 2000). This would explain the low levels of assimilation upon arrival in the new country, as well as the wide initial earnings gap. Recent studies (Chiswick and Miller, 2007 or Green, Kler and Leeves, 2007, among others) have dealt with this issue from the perspective of over-education. This study analyses the portability of immigrants’ human capital into the Spanish job market according to their geographic origin. It also aims to compare the most notable empirical regularities found in the aforementioned studies with the situation in Spain. The results obtained indicate differing degrees of the transferability of human capital depending on geographic origin, as transferability is greater for countries that are highly developed or have a similar culture or language and lower for developing countries and those with more distant cultures. The evidence is relatively disparate for the two components of human capital as although it is particularly clear for schooling, it is less so for experience. The results also confirm that in Spain immigrants suffer from over-education, in both incidence and intensity, implying a higher relative wage penalty and a greater negative impact on immigrants from the second group of countries. As an immigrant’s stay in Spain advances, a process of assimilation does exist, except for Asians and, in some circumstances, those from Sub-Saharan Africa, though the pace is very slow.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3649.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Population Research and Policy Review, 2014
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3649

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Keywords: wages; over-education; immigration; assimilation;

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References

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  1. Green, Colin & Kler, Parvinder & Leeves, Gareth, 2007. "Immigrant overeducation: Evidence from recent arrivals to Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 420-432, August.
  2. Cristina Fernández & Ana Carolina Ortega Masagué, 2006. "Labor Market Assimilation of Immigrants in Spain: Employment at the Expense of Bad Job-Matches?," Working Papers 2006-21, FEDEA.
  3. Amuedo Dorantes, Catalina & De la Rica Goiricelaya, Sara, 2006. "Labor Market Assimilation of Recent Immigrants in Spain," DFAEII Working Papers 2006-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  4. Constant, Amelie F. & Massey, Douglas S., 2002. "Self-Selection, Earnings, and Out-Migration: A Longitudinal Study of Immigrants to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
  6. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2000. "Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-158, April.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  8. Esteban Sanromá & Hipólito J. Simón & Raúl Ramos, 2007. "Segregación Laboral Y Estructuras Salariales De Nativos E Inmigrantes En España. Un Análisis Con Datos Emparejados Empresa-Trabajador," Working Papers. Serie EC, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) 2007-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  9. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  10. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2006. "Why is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  11. Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008. "Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
  12. Ezequiel Uriel Jiménez & Pilar Beneito López & Javier Ferri Carreres & María Luisa Moltó Carbonell, 1996. "Desajuste educativo y formación laboral especializada: efectos sobre los rendimientos salariales," Working Papers. Serie EC, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie) 1996-11, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  13. Duleep, Harriet Orcutt & Regets, Mark C., 1997. "The decline in immigrant entry earnings: Less transferable skills or lower ability?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 189-208.
  14. Nachum Sicherman, 1987. "Over-Education in the Labor Market," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State 48, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  15. Joanne Kathryn Lindley & Pamela Lenton, 2006. "The Over-Education of UK Immigrants: Evidence from the Labour Force Survey," Working Papers 2006001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2006.
  16. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  17. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1998. "The earnings of male immigrants in England: evidence from the quarterly LFS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(9), pages 1157-1168.
  18. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  19. Mendes de Oliveira, M. & Santos, M. C. & Kiker, B. F., 2000. "The role of human capital and technological change in overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 199-206, April.
  20. 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).
  21. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. August Gächter & Stefanie Smoliner, 2010. "How well does education travel? Education and occupation with and without migration," FIW Research Reports series II-010, FIW.
  2. Piracha, Matloob & Vadean, Florin, 2012. "Migrant Educational Mismatch and the Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6414, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Esteban Sanromà & Raúl Ramos & Hipólito Simón, 2009. "Immigrant wages in the Spanish labour market: does the origin of human capital matter?," Working Papers 2009/8, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  4. Edgard Polanco, 2009. "Asimilación laboral de los inmigrantes colombianos en Estados Unidos," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  5. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz, 2011. "Migration and Education," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1105, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Basilio, Leilanie & Bauer, Thomas K., 2010. "Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4716, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Nieto, Sandra & Matano, Alessia & Ramos, Raul, 2013. "Skill Mismatches in the EU: Immigrants vs. Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 7701, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Nicodemo, Catia, 2013. "Immigration and Labor Productivity: New Empirical Evidence for Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 7297, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny & Julia Bock-Schappelwein, 2010. "Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU," FIW Research Reports series II-008, FIW.
  10. Gligorov, Vladimir, 2009. "Mobility and Transition in Integrating Europe," MPRA Paper 19198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Kalfa, Eleni & Piracha, Matloob, 2013. "Immigrants' Educational Mismatch and the Penalty of Over-Education," IZA Discussion Papers 7721, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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