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Endogenous Assimilation and Immigrant Adjustment in Longitudinal Data


  • Beenstock, Michael

    () (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    () (George Washington University)

  • Paltiel, Ari

    () (affiliation not available)


We create a longitudinal data set by matching immigrants in Israel's censuses for 1983 and 1995. These panel data reject the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis (IAH), which predicts that immigrants with shorter durations in 1983 should have experienced faster earnings growth between 1983 and 1995. By contrast, IAH is corroborated by the synthetic cohort methodology (SCM) over the same period. We suggest that SCM is subject to survivor bias, which increases the apparent degree of assimilation. We show that since the return to destination-specific skills increased during this period because of the very large immigration, the assimilation curve changed its shape in a way that made it difficult to estimate even using panel data.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1840

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Horowitz, Joel L. & Manski, Charles F., 1998. "Censoring of outcomes and regressors due to survey nonresponse: Identification and estimation using weights and imputations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 37-58, May.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Eckstein, Z. & Weiss, Y., 1999. "The Integration of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in the Israeli Labor Market," Papers 33-99, Tel Aviv.
    7. Chiswick, Carmel U. & Chiswick, Barry R. & Karras, Georgios, 1992. "The impact of immigrants on the macroeconomy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 279-316, December.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R, 1986. "Is the New Immigration Less Skilled Than the Old?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 168-192, April.
    9. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
    10. Statistics Canada, 2003. "Will They Ever Converge? Earnings of Immigrants and Canadian-born Workers over the Last Two Decades," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003215e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Barry R. Chiswick & Yew Liang Lee & Paul W. Miller, 2005. "Immigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 485-503, December.
    12. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
    13. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    14. Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 2004. "Reinterpreting the performance of immigrant wages from panel data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 129-147, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lang Kevin & Siniver Erez, 2009. "The Return to English in a Non-English Speaking Country: Russian Immigrants and Native Israelis in Israel," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
    2. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2007. "Civic Participation of Immigrants: Culture Transmission and Assimilation," MPRA Paper 4594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kondylis, Florence, 2007. "Conflict-induced displacement and labour market outcomes: evidence from post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19670, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2008. "The "Negative" Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case," IZA Discussion Papers 3563, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008. "Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
    6. Juan J. Dolado & Pablo Vázquez & Varios Autores, 2008. "Ensayos sobre los efectos económicos de la inmigración en España," Economic Reports 01-08, FEDEA.
    7. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
    8. Jan Saarela & Fjalar Finnäs, 2007. "Adjustment failures in an immigrant population: Finns in Sweden," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 82(3), pages 545-563, July.

    More about this item


    panel data; assimilation; immigrants;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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