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Human capital and wages: a comparison of Albanian and Italian immigrants

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  • Kate Mane

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  • Brigitte Waldorf

    ()

Abstract

This paper identifies the factors influencing earnings gaps between migrants belonging to old immigrant groups (defined as those with long established migration linkages with the receiving country) and those belonging to new immigrant groups. Earnings are conceptualized as a function of human capital, decomposed into the portion acquired in the home country and the portion acquired in the receiving country. It is hypothesized that poor transferability of human capital acquired at home dampens wages more for new than for old immigrant groups. Further, it is hypothesized that upon arrival in the destination, new immigrant groups accumulate human capital faster than old immigrant groups. The empirical analysis focuses on Albanians in the United States as a representative of a new immigrant group and Italians as a representative of an old immigrant group. The analysis is based on pooled data from the 2000 US Census 5 % sample, and the 2001–2007 American Community Survey (ACS) 3 % sample. Findings suggest that (1) Albanian immigrants earn substantially less than Italian immigrants; (2) human capital acquired at home has a positive impact on wages, but the level of human capital transferability is low for Albanians; (3) upon arrival, both Italian and Albanian immigrants accumulate human capital, but the speed of human capital accumulation is faster for Albanians than for Italians. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Kate Mane & Brigitte Waldorf, 2013. "Human capital and wages: a comparison of Albanian and Italian immigrants," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 51(1), pages 53-72, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:51:y:2013:i:1:p:53-72
    DOI: 10.1007/s00168-012-0532-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashraf El-Araby Aly & James Ragan, 2010. "Arab immigrants in the United States: how and why do returns to education vary by country of origin?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 519-538, March.
    2. Stewart, James B & Hyclak, Thomas, 1984. "An Analysis of the Earnings Profiles of Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 292-296, May.
    3. Raymond J G M Florax & Thomas de Graaff & Brigitte S Waldorf, 2005. "A Spatial Economic Perspective on Language Acquisition: Segregation, Networking, and Assimilation of Immigrants," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 37(10), pages 1877-1897, October.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    5. 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 221-251, April.
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    7. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    8. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    9. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    10. Brigitte S. Waldorf & Julia Beckhusen & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Thomas De Graaff, 2010. "The role of human capital in language acquisition among immigrants in US metropolitan," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 39-49, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    F22; J31; J61;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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