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The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants

  • Todd Schoellman

This paper develops a model of comparative advantage in labor markets in which workers with heterogeneous skills choose the occupations that best use those skills. Application to immigration suggests that the occupational differences between U.S. natives and immigrants arise from human capital differences. This principle makes it possible to estimate the human capital endowments of immigrants along five dimensions, including cognitive ability and physical skills, which are difficult to measure directly. Counterfactual simulations describe the distributional implications of immigration for native wages. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/655162
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 4 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-34

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:4:y:2010:i:1:p:1-34
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JHC/

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  1. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
  3. Costinot, Arnaud & Oldenski, Lindsay & Rauch, James, 2009. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," CCES Discussion Paper Series 14, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2008. "Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0813, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christina Gathmann & Uta Schönberg, 2010. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-49, 01.
  7. Dougherty, C R S, 1972. "Estimates of Labor Aggregation Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1101-19, Nov.-Dec..
  8. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The effects of immigration on US wages and rents: a general equilibrium approach," Chapters, in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 3, pages 107-146 Edward Elgar.
  10. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  11. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2002. "How Important is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," Staff General Research Papers 11409, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Alexandra Spitz-Oener, 2006. "Technical Change, Job Tasks, and Rising Educational Demands: Looking outside the Wage Structure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 235-270, April.
  13. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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