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The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants

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  • Todd Schoellman

Abstract

This paper estimates the multi-dimensional human capital endowments of immigrants by characterizing their occupational decisions. This approach allows for estimation of physical skill and cognitive ability endowments, which are difficult to measure directly. Estimation implies that immigrants as a whole are abundant in cognitive ability and scarce in experience/training and communication skills. Counterfactual estimates of the wage impacts of immigration are skewed: the largest gain from preventing immigration is 3.2% higher wages, but the largest loss is 0.3% lower wages. Crowding of immigrants into select occupations plays a minor role in explaining these impacts; occupations’ skill attributes explain the bulk.

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Schoellman, 2009. "The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2009_19, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  • Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2009_19
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    File URL: http://www.eeri.eu/documents/wp/EERI_RP_2009_19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elisa Keller, 2013. "Occupational Complexity, Experience, and the Gender Wage Gap," 2013 Meeting Papers 348, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Rendall, Michelle, 2013. "Structural Change in Developing Countries: Has it Decreased Gender Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-16.
    3. Michelle Rendall, 2011. "The Service Sector and Female Market Work: Europe vs US," 2011 Meeting Papers 778, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Kancs, d'Artis & Kielyte, Julda, 2010. "European Integration and Labour Migration," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 14, November.
    5. Chad Turner & Robert Tamura & Sean Mulholland, 2013. "How important are human capital, physical capital and total factor productivity for determining state economic growth in the United States, 1840–2000?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 319-371, December.
    6. Pedros Silos & Eric Smith, 2015. "Human Capital Portfolios," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 635-652, July.
    7. Luca Marchiori & Patrice Pieretti & Benteng Zou, 2014. "Immigration, occupational choice and public employment," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-15, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human Capital; Migration.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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