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LABOR MOBILITY OF IMMIGRANTS: TRAINING, EXPERIENCE, LANGUAGE, AND OPPORTUNITIES*

Authors

  • Sarit Cohen-Goldner,

    1. Bar-Ilan University; Bank of Israel, Tel Aviv University, and CEPR
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  • Zvi Eckstein

    1. Bar-Ilan University; Bank of Israel, Tel Aviv University, and CEPR
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    • 1

      We wish to thank Japp Abbring, Richard Blundell, Mike Keane, Allan Manning, Yusuke ONO, Barbara Petrongolo, Yoram Weiss, and Ken Wolpin for their comments on previous drafts of this article. We greatly benefited from comments of the four referees and the editor, Petra Todd. We also wish to thank our research assistants: Osnat Lifshitz, Maria Tripolski, and Tali Larom. We are also grateful for financial support from NIH grant 1 R01 HD34716-01 and ISF grant 884/01. Please address correspondence to: Zvi Eckstein, Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978 Israel. E-mail: eckstein@post.tau.ac.il.


  • *

    Manuscript received January 2004; revised March 2005.

Abstract

This article analyzes the labor mobility and human capital accumulation of male immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel. We estimate a dynamic choice model for employment and training in blue- and white-collar occupations, where the labor market randomly offered opportunities are affected by past choices. The estimated model accurately reproduces the patterns in the data. The estimated direct earning return to local training, local experience, and knowledge of Hebrew are very high, whereas imported skills have zero (conditional) return. The welfare gain from the impact of training on job offer probabilities is larger than its effect on wages.

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