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The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Business School, University of Western Australia)

Research on the economic or labor market assimilation of immigrants has to date focused on the degree of improvement in their economic status with duration in the destination. The theoretical underpinning for this finding is the international transferability of skills. This paper addresses whether positive assimilation will be found if skills are very highly transferable internationally. It outlines the conditions for “negative” assimilation in the context of the traditional immigration assimilation model, and examines the empirical relevance of the hypothesis using data on immigrants from the English-speaking developed countries (i.e., the UK, Ireland, Canada and Australia/New Zealand) to the United States. Comparisons with the native born are also presented to test whether the findings are sensitive to immigrant cohort quality effects. Even after controlling for cohort effects, “negative” assimilation (a decline in earnings with duration) is found for immigrants in the US from the English-speaking developed countries. Negative assimilation is also found for immigrants from the English-speaking developed countries in Australia and from Nordic countries in Sweden.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS in its series SULCIS Working Papers with number 2010:9.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Chiswick, Barry R. and Paul W. Miller, 'The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case' in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2011, pages 502-525.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2010_009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Web page: http://www.su.se/sulcis

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  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "Why is the payoff to schooling smaller for immigrants?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1317-1340, December.
  2. Beenstock, Michael & Chiswick, Barry R. & Paltiel, Ari, 2005. "Endogenous Assimilation and Immigrant Adjustment in Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Occupational Attainment and Immigrant Economic Progress in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S45-S56, 09.
  4. 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.
  5. Edward Funkhouser & Stephen J. Trejo, 1995. "The Labor Market Skills of Recent Male Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 792-811, July.
  6. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
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