Moroccans', Ecuadorians' and Romanians' Assimilation in Spain

30 Pages Posted: 19 May 2012

See all articles by Núria Rodríguez-Planas

Núria Rodríguez-Planas

City University New York (CUNY), Queens College; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Raquel Vegas



Using the 2007 Encuesta Nacional de Immigración (ENI), we find that male migrants follow a similar labor and legal assimilation pattern in Spain regardless of their nationality (with Romanians faring worse in terms of legal status but better in terms of employment status at arrival). Among women, Moroccans and Ecuadorians follow a similar pattern that contrasts with the one observed among Romanian women. While the former mainly arrive to Spain to work with legal status and with time in Spain (some of them) move out of employment, the latter are considerably (and persistently) more attached to the labor force, although they tend to lack legal status at arrival, and only gain such status overtime. Controlling for observable characteristics and using Heckman-corrected estimates, our wage analysis finds that with the exception of Moroccan and Romanian males for which no wage differences are observed, Moroccans outperform the other two nationalities in terms of higher wages at arrival. Moreover, this wage differential does not decrease over time.

Keywords: legal and employment assimilation, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean men and women

JEL Classification: J15, J24, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Rodriguez-Planas, Nuria and Vegas, Raquel, Moroccans', Ecuadorians' and Romanians' Assimilation in Spain. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6542, Available at SSRN:

Nuria Rodriguez-Planas (Contact Author)

City University New York (CUNY), Queens College ( email )

65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367-1597
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Raquel Vegas

FEDEA ( email )

Jorge Juan 46
Madrid, 28001


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