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The Effect of Literacy on Immigrant Earnings

  • Ana Ferrer
  • David A. Green
  • W. Craig Riddell

We examine the impact of literacy on immigrant earnings and the sources of lower returns to education and experience among immigrants. We find that the native-born literacy distribution dominates that for immigrants. However, the two groups obtain similar returns to literacy skills, contrary to discrimination-based explanations for immigrant—native-born earnings differentials. Among the university-educated, literacy differences account for about two-thirds of the earnings gap. However, low returns to foreign experience have a larger impact on this differential. Among the less educated, literacy differences and differences in the returns to experience have similar effects on the earnings differential.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 41 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:2:p380-410
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  1. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
  2. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2005. "Explaining the deteriorating entry earnings of Canada's immigrant cohorts, 1966 - 2000," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 641-672, May.
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