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Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in Germany: Moving with Natives or Stuck in their Neighborhoods?

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  • Yuksel, Mutlu

    () (Dalhousie University)

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze intergenerational mobility of immigrants and natives in Germany. Using the German Socioeconomic Panel (GSOEP), I find intergenerational elasticities that range from 0.19 to 0.26 for natives and from 0.37 to 0.40 for immigrants. These elasticity estimates are lower than typically found for the U.S. and imply higher mobility in Germany than in the U.S. However, as in the U.S., I find greater mobility among German natives than among immigrants. Moreover, I investigate to what extent the lower mobility among immigrants in Germany is due to “ethnic capital” as suggested by Borjas (1992). I find that the impact of father’s earnings on son’s earnings remains virtually unchanged when including a measure of ethnic capital, suggesting that the higher father-son correlation found among immigrants is not due to omitting ethnic capital. However, I do find a large independent effect of ethnic capital on sons’ earnings (the coefficient is 0.81 as opposed to 0.25 found by Borjas (1992)). These results are consistent with estimates from Microcensus data, where the combined effect of parents’ and ethnic capital is close to unity. Thus, contrary to the U.S. results which suggest convergence of immigrants’ earnings towards natives’ earnings, the German results suggest divergence of immigrant earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuksel, Mutlu, 2009. "Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in Germany: Moving with Natives or Stuck in their Neighborhoods?," IZA Discussion Papers 4677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4677
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Corak, Miles & Heisz, Andrew, 1996. "The Intergenerational Income Mobility of Canadian Men," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996089e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    3. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
    4. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    5. Solon, Gary, 1989. "Biases in the Estimation of Intergenerational Earnings Correlations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 172-174, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2014. "How Important Is the Family? Evidence from Sibling Correlations in Permanent Earnings in the USA, Germany, and Denmark," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 69-89.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0283 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel & Belgi Turan, 2013. "Left behind: intergenerational transmission of human capital in the midst of HIV/AIDS," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1523-1547, October.
    4. Daniel D. Schnitzlein, 2014. "A New Look at Intergenerational Mobility in Germany Compared to the US," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 689, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Flake, Regina, 2011. "Gender Differences in the Intergenerational Earnings Mobility of Second-Generation Migrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 283, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Flake, Regina, 2013. "Gender Differences in the Earnings Mobility of Migrants," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 58-79.
    7. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Kugler, Adriana, 2016. "Intergenerational Persistence of Health in the U.S.: Do Immigrants Get Healthier as They Assimilate?," IZA Discussion Papers 9728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. René Böheim & Christina Judmayr, 2014. "Chancengleichheit in Österreich," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 134, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    9. repec:bla:revinw:v:62:y:2016:i:4:p:650-667 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Regina Flake, 2011. "Gender Differences in the Intergenerational Earnings Mobility of Second-Generation Migrants," Ruhr Economic Papers 0283, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; intergenerational mobility; natives; ethnic capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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