NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital

Rachel M. Friedberg

NBER Working Paper No. 5837
Issued in November 1996
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

The national origin of an individual's human capital is a crucial determinant of its value. Education acquired abroad is significantly less valued than education obtained domestically. This difference can fully explain the earnings disadvantage of immigrants relative to comparable natives in Israel. Variation in the return to foreign schooling across origin countries may reflect differences in its quality and compatibility with the host labor market. Three factors language proficiency, domestic labor market experience, and further education following immigration appear to raise the return to education acquired abroad, suggesting a compound benefit of policies encouraging immigrants to obtain language and other training.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5837

Published: Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 18, no. 2 (April 2000): 221-251. citation courtesy of

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