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How Do Latin American Migrants in the U.S. Stand on Schooling Premium? What Does It Reveal about Education Quality in Their Home Countries?

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  • Alonso-Soto, Daniel

    (OECD)

  • Nopo, Hugo R.

    ()

Abstract

Indicators for quality of schooling are not only relatively new in the world but also unavailable for a sizable share of the world's population. In their absence, some proxy measures have been devised. One simple but powerful idea has been to use the schooling premium for migrant workers in the U.S. (Bratsberg and Terrell, 2002). In this paper we extend this idea and compute measures for the schooling premium of immigrant workers in the U.S. over a span of five decades. Focusing on those who graduated from either secondary or tertiary education in Latin American countries, we present comparative estimates of the evolution of such premia for both schooling levels. The results show that the schooling premia in Latin America have been steadily low throughout the whole period of analysis. The results stand after controlling for selective migration in different ways. This contradicts the popular belief in policy circles that the education quality of the region has deteriorated in recent years. In contrast, schooling premium in India shows an impressive improvement in recent decades, especially at the tertiary level.

Suggested Citation

  • Alonso-Soto, Daniel & Nopo, Hugo R., 2017. "How Do Latin American Migrants in the U.S. Stand on Schooling Premium? What Does It Reveal about Education Quality in Their Home Countries?," IZA Discussion Papers 11030, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Everett Lee, 1966. "A theory of migration," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 3(1), pages 47-57, March.
    2. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
    3. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    4. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    5. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
    6. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
    7. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, April.
    8. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281-281.
    9. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan Jr., 2002. "The Impact of Host-Country Schooling on Earnings: A Study of Male Immigrants in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 63-105.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling premium; returns to education; wage differentials; immigrant workers;

    JEL classification:

    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • 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

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