Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis for Germany

33 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2010

See all articles by Leilanie Basilio

Leilanie Basilio

Ruhr Universität Bochum

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

This paper investigates the transferability of human capital across countries and the contribution of imperfect human capital portability to the explanation of the immigrant-native wage gap. Using data for West Germany, our results reveal that, overall, education and labor market experience accumulated in the home countries of the immigrants receive significantly lower returns than human capital obtained in Germany. We further find evidence for heterogeneity in the returns to human capital of immigrants across origin countries. Finally, imperfect human capital transferability appears to be a major factor in explaining the wage differential between natives and immigrants.

Keywords: assimilation, immigration, rate of return, human capital

JEL Classification: J61, J31, J24

Suggested Citation

Basilio, Leilanie and Bauer, Thomas K., Transferability of Human Capital and Immigrant Assimilation: An Analysis for Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4716. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1545143

Leilanie Basilio (Contact Author)

Ruhr Universität Bochum ( email )

Universitätsstraße 150
Bochum, NRW 44780
Germany

Thomas K. Bauer

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany
+49 201 8149 264 (Phone)
+49 201 8149 284 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rwi-essen.de

University of Bochum - Faculty of Economics ( email )

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Germany
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+02 34 32 14273 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/empwifo/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
+49 228 38 94 529 (Phone)
+49 228 38 94 510 (Fax)

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