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The Effects of School Quality in the Origin on the Payoff to Schooling for Immigrants

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Author Info

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

The payoff to schooling among the foreign born in the US is only around one-half of the payoff for the native born. This paper examines whether this differential is related to the quality of the schooling immigrants acquired abroad. The paper uses the Over-education/ Required education/Under-education specification of the earnings equation to explore the transmission mechanism for the origin-country school quality effects. It also assesses the empirical merits of two alternative measures of the quality of schooling undertaken abroad. The results suggest that a higher quality of schooling acquired abroad is associated with a higher payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US labor market. This higher payoff is associated with a higher payoff to correctly matched schooling in the US, and a greater (in absolute value) penalty associated with years of under-education. A set of predictions is presented to assess the relative importance of these channels, and the over-education channel is shown to be the more influential factor. This channel is linked to greater positive selection in migration among those from countries with better quality school. In other words, it is the impact of origin country school quality on the immigrant selection process, rather than the quality of immigrants’ schooling per se, that is the major driver of the lower payoff to schooling among immigrants in the US.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5075.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Gil Epstein and Ira Gang (eds.), Migration and Culture, Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, Vol. 8, Emerald Publishing, Bingley, 2010, 67-103
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5075

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Related research

Keywords: schooling; selectivity; earnings; school quality; immigrants;

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References

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  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2010. "Educational Mismatch: Are High-Skilled Immigrants Really Working at High-Skilled Jobs and the Price They Pay if They Aren’t?," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:7, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  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. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2001. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 2000. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 51-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, 2001. "The Skills of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-12, Claremont Colleges.
  6. Sweetman, Arthur, 2004. "Immigrant Source Country Educational Quality and Canadian Labour Market Outcomes," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004234e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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Cited by:
  1. Qing Li & Arthur Sweetman, 2013. "The Quality of Immigrant Source Country Educational Outcomes: Do they Matter in the Receiving Country?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1332, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. 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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