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Re-Examining the Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants

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    Abstract

    Studies on the earnings assimilation of immigrants have traditionally focused exclusively on immigrants in employment. However, given evidence of immigrants' difficulties in entering and remaining in the labor market, restricting the population to those in employment may entail a selection bias. In addition, the primary variable of interest in such studies is often the duration of residence or the years since migration (YSM), which is interpreted as a proxy for potential labor market experience in the host country. The appropriateness of that proxy will, however, also depend on the extent to which immigrants are able to quickly enter and remain in the labor market. This study thus re-examines evidence on the earnings assimilation of immigrants in light of selection into the labor market and with better information on actual labor market experience in the host country. The findings suggest that a major revision of previous conclusions about the earnings assimilation of immigrants in Norway may be in order.

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    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 570.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:570

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    Keywords: Immigration; assimilation; employment; earnings;

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    1. 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.
    2. Jorgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2003. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out of Welfare?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    3. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    4. Schmidt, Christoph M., 1997. "Immigrant performance in Germany: Labor earnings of ethnic German migrants and foreign guest-workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 379-397.
    5. 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.
    6. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Aaberge, Rolf, 2003. "Assimilation Effects on Poverty Among Immigrants in Norway," Memorandum 07/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Erling Barth & Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2004. "Identifying Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants under Changing Macroeconomic Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 1-22, 03.
    9. Blume Jensen, Kræn & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Verner, Mette, 2005. "At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1551, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. John E. Hayfron, 1998. "The performance of immigrants in the Norwegian labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 293-303.
    11. Borjas, George J & Hilton, Lynette, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604, May.
    12. 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.
    13. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
    14. Taryn Ann Galloway, 2006. "The Labor Market Integration of Immigrant Men and Women," Discussion Papers, Research Department of Statistics Norway 483, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
    15. 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.
    16. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
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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).

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