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Labour Mobility of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language and Opportunities

  • Cohen-Goldner, Sarit
  • Eckstein, Zvi

This Paper analyses the labour mobility and human capital accumulation of male immigrants who moved from the former Soviet Union to Israel. We formulate an estimable dynamic choice model for employment and training in blue and white-collar occupations, where the labour market randomly offered opportunities are affected by past choices. The estimated model well fits the observed patterns of the fast decrease in unemployment as immigrants first find blue-collar jobs and attend training, followed by a gradual movement to white-collar occupations. The estimated rates of return to local training, local experience and local language are very high, but imported skills have zero (conditional) return. Furthermore, the welfare gain from the impact of training on job offer probabilities is larger than its effect on wages. Due to low job offer rates, the realized rate of return from white-collar training is relatively low and takes time. As a result, the annual aggregate wage growth, due to the availability of training programs, increases with time in Israel to 1.4% in the fifth year.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3412.

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Date of creation: Jun 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3412
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  1. Weiss, Y. & Sauer, R.M. & Gotlibovski, M., 1999. "Immigration, Search and Lost of Skill," Papers 26-99, Tel Aviv.
  2. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Eli Berman & Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 1999. "Language Skill Complementarity: Returns to Immigrant Language Acquisition," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 96, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  4. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  5. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  7. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1994. "Economic Impact of International Migrationand the Economic Performance of Migrants," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 96, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  11. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
  12. Eckstein, Z. & Weiss, Y., 1999. "The Integration of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in the Israeli Labor Market," Papers 33-99, Tel Aviv.
  13. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  14. Daniel McFadden, 1987. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models Without Numerical Integration," Working papers 464, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  16. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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 221-51, April.
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