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Working Paper
Public Policies
Esteve Sanromà, Raúl Ramos, Hipólito Simón

2008/07: Portabilidad del capital humano y asimilación de los inmigrantes. Evidencia para España

The literature on immigrant assimilation has highlighted the imperfect portability of human capital. Recent studies have dealt with this issue from the perspective of over-education. This study analyses the portability of immigrants’ human capital into the Spanish job market. The results obtained indicate differing degrees of the transferability of human capital depending on geographic origin, as transferability is greater for countries that are highly developed or have a similar culture or language and lower for developing countries and those with more distant cultures. The evidence is relatively disparate for the two components of human capital as although it is particularly clear for schooling, it is less so for experience. The results also confirm that in Spain immigrants suffer from over-education, in both incidence and intensity, implying a higher relative wage penalty and a greater negative impact on immigrants from the second group of countries. As an immigrant’s stay in Spain advances, a process of assimilation does exist, except for Asians and, in some circumstances, those from Sub-Saharan Africa, though the pace is very slow.



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