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The Portability of New Immigrants' Human Capital: Language, Education and Occupational Matching

Author

Listed:
  • Gustave Goldmann

    (University of Ottawa)

  • Arthur Sweetman

    () (McMaster University)

  • Casey Warman

    () (Queen's University)

Abstract

The implications of human capital portability -- including interactions between education, language skills and pre- and post-immigration occupational matching -- for earnings are explored for new immigrants to Canada. Given the importance of occupation-specific skills, as a precursor we also investigate occupational mobility and observe convergence toward the occupational skill distribution of the domestic population, although four years after landing immigrants remain less likely have a high skilled job. Immigrants who are able to match their source and host country occupations obtain higher earnings. However, surprisingly, neither matching nor language skills have any impact on the return to pre-immigration work experience, which is observed to be statistically significantly negative. Crucially, English language skills are found to have an appreciable direct impact on earnings, and to mediate the return to pre-immigration education but not labour market experience.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1271
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1271.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Heathcote & Kjetil Storesletten & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Quantitative Macroeconomics with Heterogeneous Households," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 319-354, May.
    2. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Dimensions of inequality: facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-21.
    3. Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Grignon & Yaw Owusu & Arthur Sweetman, 2013. "The international migration of health professionals," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 4, pages 75-97 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Arthur Sweetman & Casey Warman, 2013. "Canada's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s1), pages 141-160, May.
    3. Protte, Benjamin, 2012. "How does Economic Integration Change Personal Income Taxation? Evidence from a new Index of Potential Labor Mobility," Working Papers 12-20, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    4. Carlo Dell’Aringa & Claudio Lucifora & Laura Pagani, 2015. "Earnings differentials between immigrants and natives: the role of occupational attainment," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    5. Casey Warman & Christopher Worswick, 2015. "Technological change, occupational tasks and declining immigrant outcomes: Implications for earnings and income inequality in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(2), pages 736-772, May.
    6. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2011. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Occupational Skills and the Economic Outcomes of Immigrants," Working Papers 1275, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    7. Warman, Casey & Worswick, Christopher, 2014. "Technological Change and Declining Immigrant Outcomes, Implications for Income Inequality in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-51, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Nov 2014.
    8. 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).
    9. Susumu Imai & Derek Stacey & Casey Warman, 2014. "From Engineer to Taxi Driver? Language Proficiency and the Occupational Skills of Immigrants," Working Paper Series 18, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; human capital portability; occupation; education; language;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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