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The Composition of Wage Differentials between Migrants and Natives

  • Panagiotis Nanos
  • Christian Schluter

We consider the role of unobservables, such as differences in search frictions, reservation wages, and productivities for the explanation of wage differentials between migrants and natives. We disentangle these by estimating an empirical general equilibrium search model with on-the-job search due to Bontemps, Robin, and van den Berg (1999) on segments of the labour market defined by occupation, age, and nationality using a large scale German administrative dataset. The native-migrant wage differential is then decomposed into several parts, and we focus especially on the component that we label "migrant effect", being the difference in wage offers between natives and migrants in the same occupation-age segment in firms of the same productivity. Counterfactual decompositions of wage differentials allow us to identify and quantify their drivers, thus explaining within a common framework what is often labelled the unexplained wage gap.

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Paper provided by in its series Papers with number 1306.1781.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision: Oct 2013
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1306.1781
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  1. Bernd Fitzenberger & Aderonke Osikominu & Robert Völter, 2006. "Imputation Rules to Improve the Education Variable in the IAB Employment Subsample," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 405-436.
  2. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2003. "Wage bargaining with on-the-job search : theory and evidence," Research Unit Working Papers 0212, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  3. Annette Bergemann & Marco Caliendo & Gerard J. van den Berg & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "The threat effect of participation in active labor market programs on job search behavior of migrants in Germany," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 777-795, November.
  4. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Francesco D’Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "The Labor Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990’s," Working Papers 2008.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Sá, Filipa, 2011. "Does employment protection help immigrants? Evidence from European labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 624-642, October.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Ethnic Minority Immigrants and their Children in Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0610, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Bowlus, A.J. & Eckstein, Z., 1998. "Discrimination and Skill Differences in an Equilibrium Search Model," Papers 04-98, Tel Aviv.
  8. Hirsch, Boris & Jahn, Elke J., 2012. "Is There Monopsonistic Discrimination against Immigrants? First Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Albrecht, James & Axell, Bo, 1983. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Working Papers 83-10, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Wilke, Ralf A., 2004. "Unemployment Durations in West-Germany Before and After the Reform of the Unemployment Compensation System During the 1980s," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-24, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Bent Jesper Christensen & Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen & George R. Neumann & Axel Werwatz, 2005. "On-the-Job Search and the Wage Distribution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 31-58, January.
  12. Ana Damas de Matos, 2012. "The careers of immigrants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51515, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Sebastian Gundel & Heiko Peters, 2008. "What Determines the Duration of Stay of Immigrants in Germany?: Evidence from a Longitudinal Duration Analysis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 79, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  14. Berg, G.J. & Ridder, G., 1993. "An empirical equilibrium search model of the labour market," Serie Research Memoranda 0039, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  15. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
  16. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Migration and Wage-Setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Kiel Working Papers 1502, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  17. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
  18. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  19. Velling, Johannes, 1995. "Wage discrimination and occupational segregation of foreign male workers in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 95-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Luca Flabbi, 2004. "Gender Discrimination Estimation in a Search Model with Matching and Bargaining," 2004 Meeting Papers 367, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. Cristian Bartolucci, 2009. "Gender Wage Gaps Reconsidered: A Structural Approach Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 116, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2010.
  22. Glitz, Albrecht, 2012. "Ethnic Segregation in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6841, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Cristian Bartolucci, 2010. "Understanding the Native-Immigrant Wage Gap Using Matched Employer-Employee Data. Evidence from Germany," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 150, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  24. Bowlus, Audra J, 1997. "A Search Interpretation of Male-Female Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 625-57, October.
  25. Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2009. "Monopsonistic Discrimination, Worker Turnover, and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 3930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Boris Hirsch & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2010. "Differences in Labor Supply to Monopsonistic Firms and the Gender Pay Gap: An Empirical Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 291-330, 04.
  27. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Thorsten Vogel, 2006. "Employment, Wages, and the Economic Cycle: Differences between Immigrants and Natives," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0609, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  28. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Mikal Skuterud, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Differential within and across Establishments," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(3), pages 334-352, April.
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