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You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital

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  • Friedberg, Rachel M

Abstract

The national origin of an individual's human capital is a crucial determinant of its value. Education and labor market experience acquired abroad are significantly less valued than human capital obtained domestically. This difference can fully explain the earnings disadvantage of immigrants relative to comparable natives in Israel. Variation in the return to foreign schooling across origin countries may reflect differences in its quality and compatibility with the host labor market. The return to foreign experience is generally insignificant. Acquiring additional education following immigration appears to confer a compound benefit by raising the return to education acquired abroad. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:2:p:221-51
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-130, April.
    2. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    4. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
    5. John J. Beggs & Bruce Chapman, 1991. "Male Immigrant Wage and Unemployment Experience in Australia," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 369-384 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Robert F. Schoeni, 1997. "New Evidence on the Economic Progress of Foreign-Born Men in the 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 683-740.
    7. George J. Borjas, 1982. "The Earnings of Male Hispanic Immigrants in the United States," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 343-353, April.
    8. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1.
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    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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