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Immigrant Earnings, Relative to What? The Importance of Earnings Function Specification and Comparison Points


  • Yuengert, A M


Immigrant relative earnings estimates are sensitive to the choice of comparison point and the specification of earnings. Non-sample mean comparisons (Borjas, 1985) understate relative earnings. Simple earnings specifications (linear education, quadratic experience) overstate relative earnings for both poorly and well-educated immigrants. Specifications which ignore omitted variables understate the relative earnings of poorly educated immigrants and overstate those of well-educated ones. Although measures of assimilation and changes in immigrant quality are insensitive to earnings specification, they indicate strong earnings growth for post-1964 immigrants, an overall decrease in immigrant quality, and an increase in Mexican immigrant quality. Copyright 1994 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuengert, A M, 1994. "Immigrant Earnings, Relative to What? The Importance of Earnings Function Specification and Comparison Points," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 71-90, Jan.-Marc.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:9:y:1994:i:1:p:71-90

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scheinkman, Jose A & LeBaron, Blake, 1989. "Nonlinear Dynamics and Stock Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(3), pages 311-337, July.
    2. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    3. Brock, William A. & Sayers, Chera L., 1988. "Is the business cycle characterized by deterministic chaos?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-90, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph M. Schmidt & Michael Fertig, 2002. "Mobility within Europe – The Attitudes of European Youngsters," RWI Discussion Papers 0001, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0020 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:zbw:rwidps:0001 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. George J. Borjas, 2000. "The Economic Progress of Immigrants," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 15-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2002. "Mobility within Europe – What do we (still not) know?," IZA Discussion Papers 447, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Feliciano, Zadia M., 2001. "The Skill and Economic Performance of Mexican Immigrants from 1910 to 1990," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 386-409, July.
    8. Michael Fertig & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany – The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," Ruhr Economic Papers 0020, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Statistics Canada, 2005. "Intergenerational Impact of Immigrants' Selection and Assimilation on Health Outcomes of Children," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005247e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Fertig, Michael & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "First- and Second-Generation Migrants in Germany - What Do We Know and What Do People Think," IZA Discussion Papers 286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Pokrovsky, D. & Shapoval, A., 2015. "Distribution of Entrepreneurial Skills and Migration: Employment Structure, Income Inequality, and Welfare," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 36-62.

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