IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Reservation Wages of First and Second Generation Migrants

  • Constant, Amelie
  • Krause, Annabelle
  • Rinne, Ulf
  • Zimmermann, Klaus F

This paper analyzes the reservation wages of first and second generation migrants. Based on recently collected and rich survey data of a representative inflow sample into unemployment in Germany, we empirically test the hypothesis that reservation wages increase from first to second generation migrants. Two extensions of the basic job search model, namely an unknown wage offer distribution and different reference standards, provide theoretical justifications for this conjecture. In both extensions, changing frames of reference are identified as a channel through which the phenomenon of increasing reservation wages may arise. In as far as language skills or self-evaluated returns to characteristics reflect a person’s frames of reference, we find empirical support for this mechanism to be present.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8208.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8208
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 424-433, 04-05.
  2. Amelie Constant & Klaus Zimmermann, 2011. "Circular and Repeat Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 495-515, August.
  3. Uhlendorff, Arne & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Unemployment Dynamics among Migrants and Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 2299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Amelie F. Constant & Liliya Gataullina & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," Post-Print hal-00671932, HAL.
  5. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Caliendo, Marco & Falk, Armin & Kaiser, Lutz C. & Schneider, Hilmar & Uhlendorff, Arne & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2010. "The IZA Evaluation Dataset: Towards Evidence-Based Labor Policy-Making," IZA Discussion Papers 5400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. S. Bikhchandani & S. Sharma, 1990. "Optimal Search with Learning," UCLA Economics Working Papers 580, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
  9. Eichhorst, Werner & Kuhn, Andrea & Thode, Eric & Zenker, Rosemarie, 2010. "Report No. 23: Traditionelle Beschäftigungsverhältnisse im Wandel," IZA Research Reports 23, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. David Card & John DiNardo & Eugena Estes, 1998. "The More Things Change: Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants in the 1940's, the 1970's, and the 1990's," JCPR Working Papers 30, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  11. Wolfgang Franz, 1980. "The Reservation Wage of Unemployed Persons in the Federal Republic of Germany: Theory and Empirical Tests," NBER Working Papers 0578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20204, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Armin Falk & Markus Knell, . "Choosing the Joneses On the Endogeneity of Reference Groups," IEW - Working Papers 053, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. Kohn, Meir G. & Shavell, Steven, 1974. "The theory of search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 93-123, October.
  15. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Legal Status at Entry, Economic Performance, and Self-Employment Proclivity: A Bi-National Study of Immigrants," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 547, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Alisher Aldashev & Johannes Gernandt & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Gap in Germany," FEMM Working Papers 08019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  18. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-80, February.
  19. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
  20. Amelie Constant & Liliya Gataullina & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Naturalization Proclivities, Ethnicity and Integration," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 77, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  21. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
  22. repec:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:4:p:655-65 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 4275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2010. "The Economic Situation of First and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F4-F30, 02.
  25. Ben Kriechel & Gerard Pfann, 2006. "Learning to update your reservation wage while looking for a new job," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 135-148, August.
  26. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:1:p:123-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  28. Regina T. Riphahn, 2003. "Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 711-737, November.
  29. Juan Dubra, 2004. "Optimism and Overconfidence in Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 198-218, January.
  30. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  31. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8208. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.