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Reservation Wages of First and Second Generation Migrants

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    (Temple University)

  • Krause, Annabelle



  • Rinne, Ulf



  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.


    (University of Bonn)

This paper analyzes the reservation wages of first and second generation migrants. Based on recently collected and rich survey data of a representative inflow sample into unemployment in Germany, we empirically test the hypothesis that reservation wages increase from first to second generation migrants. Two extensions of the basic job search model, namely an unknown wage offer distribution and different reference standards, provide theoretical justifications for this conjecture. In both extensions, changing frames of reference are identified as a channel through which the phenomenon of increasing reservation wages may arise. In as far as language skills or self-evaluated returns to characteristics reflect a person's frames of reference, we find empirical support for this mechanism to be present.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5396.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5396
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  1. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20204, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  5. Alisher Aldashev & Johannes Gernandt & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2008. "The Immigrant Wage Gap in Germany," FEMM Working Papers 08019, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  6. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2007. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 3063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Armin Falk & Markus Knell, . "Choosing the Joneses On the Endogeneity of Reference Groups," IEW - Working Papers 053, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
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  11. Riphahn, Regina T., 2001. "Cohort Effects in the Educational Attainment of Second Generation Immigrants in Germany: An Analysis of Census Data," IZA Discussion Papers 291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2005. "Legal Status at Entry, Economic Performance, and Self-employment Proclivity: A Bi-national Study of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1910, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 4275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Marco Caliendo & Armin Falk & Lutz C. Kaiser & Hilmar Schneider & Arne Uhlendorff & Gerard van den Berg & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "The IZA Evaluation Dataset: towards evidence-based labor policy making," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 731-752, November.
  15. Aslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at Migration and Social Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 4263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. David Card & John DiNardo & Eugena Estes, 1998. "The More Things Change: Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants in the 1940's, the 1970's, and the 1990's," JCPR Working Papers 30, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  17. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Sharma, Sunil, 1996. "Optimal search with learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-3), pages 333-359.
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  19. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  20. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2010. "The Economic Situation of First and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F4-F30, 02.
  21. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
  22. 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.
  23. Kenneth Burdett & Tara Vishwanath, 1988. "Declining Reservation Wages and Learning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 655-665.
  24. Eichhorst, Werner & Kuhn, Andrea & Thode, Eric & Zenker, Rosemarie, 2010. "Report No. 23: Traditionelle Beschäftigungsverhältnisse im Wandel," IZA Research Reports 23, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  26. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  27. Amelie Constant & Klaus Zimmermann, 2011. "Circular and Repeat Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(4), pages 495-515, August.
  28. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
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