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Labor Mobility of Immigrants: Training, Experience, Language and Opportunities

  • Cohen Goldner, Sarit

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Eckstein, Zvi

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya)

This paper analyzes the labor mobility and human capital accumulation of male immigrants who moved from the former Soviet Union to Israel. We formulate an estimable dynamic choice model for employment and training in blue and white-collar occupations, where the labor market randomly offered opportunities are affected by past choices. The estimated model well fits the observed patterns of the fast decrease in unemployment as immigrants first find blue-collar jobs and attend training, followed by a gradual movement to white-collar occupations. The estimated rates of return to local training, local experience and local language are very high, but imported skills have zero (conditional) return. Furthermore, the welfare gain from the impact of training on job offer probabilities is larger than it’s effect on wages. Due to low job offer rates, the realized rate of return from white-collar training is relatively low and takes time. As a result, the annual aggregate wage growth, due to the availability of training programs, increases with time in Israel to 1.4 percent in the fifth year.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 519.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Economic Review, 2008, 49 (3), 837-872
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp519
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  1. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1999. "The Pre-Program Earnings Dip and the Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Implications for Simple Program Evaluation Strategies," NBER Working Papers 6983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eckstein, Z. & Weiss, Y., 1999. "The Integration of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in the Israeli Labor Market," Papers 33-99, Tel Aviv.
  4. Eli Berman & Kevin Lang & Erez Siniver, 1999. "Language Skill Complementarity: Returns to Immigrant Language Acquisition," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 96, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  5. Lalonde, Robert J. & Topel, Robert H., 1993. "Economic impact of international migration and the economic performance of migrants," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 799-850 Elsevier.
  6. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
  8. Weiss, Y. & Gotlibovski, M., 1995. "Immigration, Search and Loss of Kill," Papers 34-95, Tel Aviv.
  9. 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 463-89, October.
  10. repec:dgr:kubcen:1998120 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
  12. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  15. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  16. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  17. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  18. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
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