A Note on Measures of Human Capital for Immigrants: Examining the American Community Survey and New Immigrant Survey
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Dalhousie University; IZA
IZA Discussion Paper No. 3897
In this paper we examine whether where one acquires their human capital matters in earnings regressions. We focus on a nationally-representative US data set and find that there is little difference between a measure of total years of education and measures for US and foreign-based years of education. There is a large difference, however, in where total experience is acquired: US-based experience commands a higher return to wages and is statistically highly significant. The measures used in this analysis must be inferred based on the year of migration to the US. Using an immigrant-specific data set, the New Immigrant Survey which contains explicit information on the human capital acquired in the US and abroad, we confirm these results.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: immigrants, schooling, rates of return
JEL Classification: I21, J24, J61
Date posted: December 22, 2008
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