IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Living The American Dream? Wage Outcomes Of Albanian Immigrants In The United States


  • Kate M. Mane


  • Brigitte S.Waldorf

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)


Immigrants’ human capital and human capital potential is not fully transferrable into wage levels in the host county. Albania is a recent case in point that offers an opportunity for study. Since the collapse of the totalitarian regime in 1990, Albania has undergone drastic demographic changes, fueled by unprecedented levels of emigration and disproportionately large shares of those who are leaving are highly skilled individuals. Albania’s brain drain has received a large amount of research attention over the years, but little is known about the possible brain gain for the host country, or brain waste resulting from the over education of the immigrant labor force. This paper investigates the issue of human capital transferability by examining the labor market experience of this relatively new, little known immigrant group in the United States. The examination pays particular attention to three issues: (1) the success of Albanians relative to Italian immigrants; (2) the role of human capital; and (3) performance differences between emigrants leaving as refugees during the communist era, and those emigrating during the post-communist era. The empirical analysis uses pooled data from the 2000 US Census 5% sample, and the 2001-2007 American Community Survey (ACS) 3% sample, accessed from the Integrated Public Use Micro data Series (IPUMS-USA). Findings of this research suggest that human capital acquired at home has a positive impact on wages, but the level of skill transferability is low for Albanians and human capital acquired in the US has a slightly larger pay-off for Albanian immigrants than for Italian immigrants. Both Italians and Albanians experience returns to assimilation at a decreasing rate. Albanian immigrants earn less than Italian immigrants do, and the gender wage gap among Albanian immigrants is smaller than among Italian immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Kate M. Mane & Brigitte S.Waldorf, 2010. "Living The American Dream? Wage Outcomes Of Albanian Immigrants In The United States," Working Papers 10-7, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:10-7

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stewart, James B & Hyclak, Thomas, 1984. "An Analysis of the Earnings Profiles of Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 292-296, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
    4. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. John I. Carruthers & Natasha T. Duncan & Brigitte S. Waldorf, 2013. "Public And Subsidized Housing As A Platform For Becoming A United States Citizen," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 60-90, February.

    More about this item


    Labor; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

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


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:10-7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Debby Weber). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.