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Immigrants' Wage Performance in a Routine Biased Technological Change Era: France 1994-2012

Author

Listed:
  • Catherine Laffineur

    () (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (... - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)

  • Eva Moreno Galbis

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)

  • Jeremy Tanguy

    () (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc)

  • Ahmed Tritah

    (GAINS - Groupe d'Analyse des Itinéraires et des Niveaux Salariaux - UM - Le Mans Université)

Abstract

Over the period 1994-2012, immigrants' wage growth in France has outperformed that of natives on average by more than 14 percentage points. This striking wage growth performance occurs despite similar changes in employment shares along the occupational wage ladder. In this paper we investigate the sources of immigrants' relative wage performance focusing on the role of occupational tasks. We first show that immigrants' higher wage growth is not driven by more favorable changes in general skills (measured by age, education and residence duration), and then investigate to what extent changes in task-specific returns to skills have contributed to the differential wage dynamics through two different channels: different changes in the valuation of skills ("price effect") and different occupational sorting ("quantity effect"). We find that the wage growth premium of immigrants is not explained by different changes in returns to skills across occupational tasks but rather by the progressive reallocation of immigrants towards tasks whose returns have increased over time. Immigrants seem to have taken advantage of ongoing labor demand restructuring driven by globalization and technological change. In addition im- migrants' wages have been relatively more affected by minimum wage increases, due to their higher concentration in this part of the wage distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Laffineur & Eva Moreno Galbis & Jeremy Tanguy & Ahmed Tritah, 2018. "Immigrants' Wage Performance in a Routine Biased Technological Change Era: France 1994-2012," Working Papers halshs-01935602, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01935602
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01935602
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    Keywords

    immigrants; tasks; wage dynamics; skills;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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