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Native-Immigrant Wage Differentials in Germany - Assimilation, Discrimination, or Human Capital?

This study uses the concept of stochastic frontiers for analyzing the income disparity between ethnic groups in West Germany. Estimation of a potential rather than an average earnings function increases the explanatory power of the human capital approach and allows for detecting discrimination as well as assimilation processes. The empirical results im-ply that the human capital gap explains more than 75% of the wage differential between natives and foreign nationalities in Germany. As for ethnic Germans migrants, their wage disparity can be explained by 50% with human capital differentials. Surprisingly, only small differences could be observed with regard to the question of earnings efficiency. On an average, inhabitants as well as immigrants transformed about 85% to 90% of their potential income into actual earnings. The sources for the individually diverging efficiency ratios are not well understood, with discrimination only found for ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe. Somewhat disappointing, the assimilation hypothesis was clearly rejected for all migrants with again the exception being ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe.

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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-augsburg.de/vwl/institut/paper/197.pdf
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Paper provided by Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 197.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aug:augsbe:0197
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  1. Daneshvary, Nasser, et al, 1992. "Job Search and Immigrant Assimilation: An Earnings Frontier Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 482-92, August.
  2. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 1992. "Assimilation and the earnings of guestworkers in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 92-17, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  4. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 153-68, May.
  5. Allen N. Berger & David B. Humphrey, 1997. "Efficiency of Financial Institutions: International Survey and Directions for Future Research," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 97-05, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 1993. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072181, March.
  7. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  8. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  9. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  10. Greene, William H., 1990. "A Gamma-distributed stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 141-163.
  11. Reifschneider, David & Stevenson, Rodney, 1991. "Systematic Departures from the Frontier: A Framework for the Analysis of Firm Inefficiency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 715-23, August.
  12. Herzog, Henry W, Jr & Hofler, Richard A & Schlottmann, Alan M, 1985. "Life on the Frontier: Migrant Information, Earnings and Past Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 373-82, August.
  13. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
  14. Hofler, Richard A. & Polachek, Solomon W., 1985. "A new approach for measuring wage ignorance in the labor market," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 267-276, August.
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