A 'Glass-Ceiling' Effect for Immigrants in the Italian Labour Market?

28 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012

See all articles by Carlo Dell'Aringa

Carlo Dell'Aringa

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Laura Pagani

University of Milan, Bicocca - Faculty of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Abstract

This paper investigates earnings differentials between immigrants and natives. We focus on returns and on the (imperfect) international transferability of human capital. Data are drawn from the 2009 Italian Labour Force Survey (LFS). We show that returns to human capital are considerably lower for immigrants as compared to natives and that there is no return to pre-immigration work experience, suggesting imperfect transferability of human capital. We also explored the role of human capital, for immigrants and natives, in explaining inter-occupational and intra-occupational earnings progression (differentials). Our findings suggest that the returns on human capital (main source of wage progression) for immigrants (is) are mainly driven by intra-occupational earnings progression. Moreover, and contrary to what is observed for natives, we detect through quantile analysis a "glass-ceiling" effect for immigrant workers, who appear to face a large penalty in accessing high paying occupations. A number of robustness checks confirm our main results.

Keywords: migration, earnings, human capital portability, occupational attainment, wage differentials, human capital

JEL Classification: J31, J24, J61, F22

Suggested Citation

Dell'Aringa, Carlo and Lucifora, Claudio and Pagani, Laura, A 'Glass-Ceiling' Effect for Immigrants in the Italian Labour Market?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6555. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066978

Carlo Dell'Aringa (Contact Author)

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro
20123 Milano
Italy

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Largo Gemelli, 1
20123 Milano
Italy
+39 027 234 2525 (Phone)
+39 027 234 2781 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Laura Pagani

University of Milan, Bicocca - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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