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Education and earnings: how immigrants perform across the earnings distribution in Spain

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10

Listed author(s):
  • Pablo Swedberg

    ()

    (Saint Louis University)

  • Santiago Budria

    ()

    (ICADE)

This paper explores the impact of educational attainment on immigrant earnings in Spain using a Quantile Regression approach. Most of the previous research on the impact schooling on earnings has focused on the mean effect neglecting the discrepancies that arise from unobserved heterogeneity. The paper uses the Spanish National Immigrant Survey (NIS), a large-scale immigration survey released by the Spanish National Statistics Institute. We find that the return to higher education is on average roughly 17%. Interestingly, the impact is twice as strong (20.7%) for immigrants at the top two quintile(s) of the conditional earnings distribution than for those at the bottom of the distribution (10%). This result suggests that the benefits derived from higher education are particularly relevant for individuals with stronger unobserved abilities and marketable skills. By contrast, individuals in the middle and particularly lower quintiles fail to reap a significant return. The large degree of heterogeneity in the returns to schooling found in our research suggests that higher education may be less effective among specific population groups.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), 2015. "Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación," E-books Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, Asociación de Economía de la Educación, edition 1, volume 10, number 10, August.
  • This item is provided by Asociación de Economía de la Educación in its series Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10 with number 10-42.
    Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed10:10-42
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.economicsofeducation.com

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    1. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
    2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2007. "The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 2670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. José-Ignacio Antón, 2010. "From guests to hosts: immigrant-native wage differentials in Spain," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(6), pages 645-659, September.
    4. Joop Hartog & Pedro Pereira & Jose Vieira, 2001. "Changing returns to education in Portugal during the 1980s and early 1990s: OLS and quantile regression estimators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 1021-1037.
    5. Michael Beenstock & Barry Chiswick & Ari Paltiel, 2010. "Testing the immigrant assimilation hypothesis with longitudinal data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 7-27, March.
    6. Hipólito Simón & Esteban Sanromá & Raúl Ramos, 2008. "Labour segregation and immigrant and native-born wage distributions in Spain: an analysis using matched employer–employee data," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 135-168, June.
    7. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
    8. 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.
    9. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
    10. 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.
    11. Billger, Sherrilyn M. & Lamarche, Carlos, 2010. "Immigrant Heterogeneity and the Earnings Distribution in the United Kingdom and United States: New Evidence from a Panel Data Quantile Regression Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 5260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    13. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Santiago Budría & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2012. "Skill mismatches and wages among European university graduates," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(15), pages 1471-1475, October.
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