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The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching

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  • Goldmann, Gustave

    ()
    (University of Ottawa)

  • Sweetman, Arthur

    ()
    (McMaster University)

  • Warman, Casey

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

The implications of human capital portability – including interactions between education, language skills and pre- and post-immigration occupational matching – for earnings are explored for new immigrants to Canada. Given the importance of occupation-specific skills, as a precursor we also investigate occupational mobility and observe convergence toward the occupational skill distribution of the domestic population, although four years after landing immigrants remain less likely have a high skilled job. Immigrants who are able to match their source and host country occupations obtain higher earnings. However, surprisingly, neither matching nor language skills have any impact on the return to pre-immigration work experience, which is observed to be statistically significantly negative. Crucially, English language skills are found to have an appreciable direct impact on earnings, and to mediate the return to pre-immigration education but not labour market experience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5851.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5851

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Related research

Keywords: immigration; human capital portability; occupation; language; education;

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Cited by:
  1. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2014. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Language Proficiency and the Occupational Skills of Immigrants," Working Papers, Ryerson University, Department of Economics 040, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
  2. Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2013. "Canada's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s1), pages 141-160, May.
  3. Dell'Aringa, Carlo & Lucifora, Claudio & Pagani, Laura, 2012. "A "Glass-Ceiling" Effect for Immigrants in the Italian Labour Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 6555, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2011. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Occupational Skills and the Economic Outcomes of Immigrants," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1275, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Protte, Benjamin, 2012. "How does Economic Integration Change Personal Income Taxation? Evidence from a new Index of Potential Labor Mobility," Working Papers, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics 12-20, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.

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