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Limits to Wage Growth: Understanding the Wage Divergence between Immigrants and Natives

Listed author(s):
  • Jain, Apoorva

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

  • Peter, Klara Sabirianova

    ()

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Registered author(s):

    This study finds evidence of wage divergence between immigrants and natives in Germany using a country-wide household panel from 1984 to 2014. We incorporate the possibility of wage divergence into a two-period model of economic assimilation by modeling the differences in the efficiency of human capital production and prices per unit of human capital between immigrants and natives. Individual rates of wage convergence are found to be higher for immigrants who fled warfare zones, belong to established ethnic networks, and acquired more years of pre-migration schooling. Using a doubly robust treatment effect estimator and the IV method, the study finds that the endogenous post-migration education in the host country contributes substantially to closing the wage gap with natives. The treatment effect is heterogeneous, favoring immigrants who are similar to natives. This paper also addresses the commonly ignored sample selection issue due to non-random survey attrition and employment participation. Empirical evidence favors the "efficiency" over the "discrimination" channels of wage divergence.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10891.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10891.

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    Length: 77 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10891
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    1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 1994. "The determinants of post-immigration investments in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 163-177, June.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-245, April.
    3. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof Åslund, 2003. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants—Evidence from a Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357.
    4. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    5. Mikal Skuterud & Mingcui Su, 2012. "The influence of measurement error and unobserved heterogeneity in estimating immigrant returns to foreign and host-country sources of human capital," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 1109-1141, December.
    6. Fertig, Michael & Schurer, Stefanie, 2007. "Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Germany: The Importance of Heterogeneity and Attrition Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 2915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Bellemare, Charles, 2007. "A life-cycle model of outmigration and economic assimilation of immigrants in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 553-576, April.
    8. Constant, Amelie F. & Schüller, Simone & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 7868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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 221-251, April.
    10. Basilio, Leilanie & Bauer, Thomas K., 2010. "Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4716, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Esteban Sanromá & Raúl Ramos & Hipólito Simón, 2015. "How relevant is the origin of human capital for immigrant wages? Evidence from Spain," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 18, pages 149-172, May.
    12. repec:zbw:rwirep:0020 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Timothy Hatton & Andrew Leigh, 2011. "Immigrants assimilate as communities, not just as individuals," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 389-419, April.
    14. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    15. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, 07.
    16. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, July.
    17. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
    18. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, 04.
    19. Christopher R. Bollinger & Barry T. Hirsch, 2006. "Match Bias from Earnings Imputation in the Current Population Survey: The Case of Imperfect Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 483-520, July.
    20. George J. Borjas, 2015. "The Slowdown in the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants: Aging and Cohort Effects Revisited Again," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 483-517.
    21. Semih Tumen, 2016. "The Economic Impact of Syrian Refugees on Host Countries: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Turkey," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 456-460, May.
    22. Kalena E. Cortes, 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 465-480, May.
    23. Cortes, Kalena E., 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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