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Does Background Matter? The Transmission of Human Capital from a Planned to a Market Economy


  • Ira N. Gang

    () (Rutgers University)

  • Robert C. Stuart

    () (Rutgers University)


We analyze the early U.S. economic achievement of former Soviet citizens entering the United States during the period 1979 through 1985. Using the Soviet Interview project (SIP) data, we identify components of human capital acquired in the former Soviet Union (FSU), relating these to labor force participation and income outcomes in the United States. FSU education, experience and industry variables have important, variable and differing impacts upon both participation and income, and that such outcomes differ for males and females. FSU immigrants income is below U.S. income. Differing rates of return to characteristics, not the endowments themselves, are responsible for observed differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Ira N. Gang & Robert C. Stuart, 1999. "Does Background Matter? The Transmission of Human Capital from a Planned to a Market Economy," Departmental Working Papers 199708, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:199708

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    Cited by:

    1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Occupational Mobility of Ethnic Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 58, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Comparative systems; Human capital; Immigration; Wage differentials;

    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
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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