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The Immigrant-Native Wage Gap in Germany

  • Alisher Aldashev

    ()

    (Kazakh-British Technical University, Almaty)

  • Johannes Gernandt

    ()

    (VDMA)

  • Stephan L. Thomsen

    ()

    (ZEW Mannheim)

Immigrant-native wage differentials are observed in many countries, so in Germany. However, the available empirical literature for Germany defined the groups in consideration, immigrants and natives, by citizenship. This limits the explanatory power of the estimates since citizenship distinguishes foreigners and German nationals, but assigns naturalised immigrants (including the large group of ethnic Germans) to the latter group. Providing a more adequate definition based on the concept of origin we analyse the immigrant-native wage gap. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study,we decompose the wage gap between native Germans, foreigners, and naturalised immigrants, and consider further subgroups in the analysis. In the literature, time of residence has been proven to be a relevant determinant of immigrants’ wages. For the natives, time of residence is perfectly collinear with age, and unequal sets of variables have to be considered.We therefore suggest an extension of the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique. Our results show a substantial gap in earnings for all immigrants’ groups compared to natives. Discarding immigrants who completed education abroad reduces much of the immigrants’ wage gap. Hence, educational attainment in Germany is an important component of economic integration of immigrants, and degrees obtained abroad are valued less.

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Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 232 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 490-517

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:232:y:2012:i:5:p:490-517
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  1. Kee, Peter, 1995. "Native-Immigrant Wage Differentials in the Netherlands: Discrimination?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 302-17, April.
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  8. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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  12. Heiko Peters, 2008. "Development of Wage Inequality for Natives and Immigrants in Germany: Evidence from Quantile Regression and Decomposition," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 113, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
  14. Michael Fertig & Stefanie Schurer, 2007. "Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany: The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 30, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  15. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  17. 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, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
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  20. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  21. Shoshana Neuman & Ronald Oaxaca, 2004. "Wage Decompositions with Selectivity-Corrected Wage Equations: A Methodological Note," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 3-10, April.
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