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Assimilation of immigrants in Spain: A longitudinal analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Mario Izquierdo

    () (Banco de España)

  • Aitor Lacuesta

    () (Banco de España)

  • Raquel Vegas

    () (FEDEA)

Abstract

In this paper we use the Continuous Sample of Working Histories 2005 (MCVL2005) to analyze the earnings assimilation of migrants from outside the EU-15 in Spain. Using our panel dataset we show that immigrants reduce around the half of the initial wage gap respect to natives the first 5 to 6 years after arrival. However, no further reductions of the remaining wage gap are estimated. We also show that results based on cross-section data are downward biased since an important increase in the quality of migrants has taken place over the recent years. This skill upgrading of new immigrant cohorts is evident in the Spanish case as well as the depreciation of the value of most of the experience that is brought from abroad. We can associate the improvement in the skill of immigrants to a change in the composition of new entrants. An important mechanism underlying the assimilation is the higher likelihood of recent immigrants in changing jobs among different sectors and firms, but also improving their situation within the same firm. Finally, some caveats should be taken into account when interpreting our results given that immigration phenomenon is quite recent in the Spanish labour market and it has taken place in an especially positive economic environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Mario Izquierdo & Aitor Lacuesta & Raquel Vegas, 2009. "Assimilation of immigrants in Spain: A longitudinal analysis," Working Papers 0904, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0904
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; assimilation; longitudinal data; selection; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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