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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. 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.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  8. Arnaud Costinot & Lindsay Oldenski & James Rauch, 2009. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-059, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. 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.
  10. 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..
  11. David Card, 1997. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," NBER Working Papers 5927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2010. "Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Working Papers 2010-09, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
  13. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
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