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

Author

Listed:
  • Dell’Aringa, Carlo

    () (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    () (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Pagani, Laura

    () (University of Milan Bicocca)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dell’Aringa, Carlo & Lucifora, Claudio & Pagani, Laura, 2012. "A "Glass-Ceiling" Effect for Immigrants in the Italian Labour Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 6555, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6555
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simón, Hipólito & Ramos, Raul & Sanromá, Esteban, 2011. "Occupational Mobility of Immigrants in a Low Skilled Economy: The Spanish Case," IZA Discussion Papers 5581, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
    3. Antonio Accetturo & Luigi Infante, 2010. "Immigrant Earnings in the Italian Labour Market," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(1), pages 1-28, April.
    4. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, September.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gustave Goldmann & Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2011. "The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching," Working Papers 1271, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sónia Cabral & Cláudia Duarte, 2013. "Mind the gap! The relative wages of immigrants in the Portuguese labour market," Working Papers w201305, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; earnings; human capital portability; occupational attainment; wage differentials; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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