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A "Glass-Ceiling" Effect for Immigrants in the Italian Labour Market?

  • Dell'Aringa, Carlo

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Pagani, Laura

    ()

    (University of Milan Bicocca)

This paper investigates earnings differentials between immigrants and natives. We focus on returns and on the (imperfect) international transferability of human capital. Data are drawn from the 2009 Italian Labour Force Survey (LFS). We show that returns to human capital are considerably lower for immigrants as compared to natives and that there is no return to pre-immigration work experience, suggesting imperfect transferability of human capital. We also explored the role of human capital, for immigrants and natives, in explaining inter-occupational and intra-occupational earnings progression (differentials). Our findings suggest that the returns on human capital (main source of wage progression) for immigrants (is) are mainly driven by intra-occupational earnings progression. Moreover, and contrary to what is observed for natives, we detect through quantile analysis a "glass-ceiling" effect for immigrant workers, who appear to face a large penalty in accessing high paying occupations. A number of robustness checks confirm our main results.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6555.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6555
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  1. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, 09.
  2. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  3. Hipólito Simón & Raúl Ramos & Esteban Sanromá, 2011. "Occupational mobility of immigrants in a low skilled economy. The Spanish case," Working Papers 2011/28, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  4. Antonio Accetturo & Luigi Infante, 2008. "Immigrant earnings in the Italian labour market," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 695, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Goldmann, Gustave & Sweetman, Arthur & Warman, Casey, 2011. "The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 5851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  7. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
  8. Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 2008. "Labour-market assimilation of foreign workers in Italy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 518-542, Autumn.
  9. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1998. "The earnings of male immigrants in England: evidence from the quarterly LFS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(9), pages 1157-1168.
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