Does the acquisition of training in the U.S. increase the earnings growth of U.S. immigrants?
Ilana Redstone Akresh, University of Illinois
Researchers have shown that immigrants earn less than natives with comparable human capital. However, little is known about what can be done to increase immigrants’ earnings growth. Using new data from the New Immigrant Survey pilot study, I measure the impact of three types of human capital investment (formal schooling, English classes, and vocational training) on wage growth for legal immigrants to the U.S. (immigrants with ‘green cards’). I use three survey waves, covering 12 months, to estimate an individual fixed effects model to control for the endogeneity of who chooses to invest in human capital. I find that the effect of enrolment in formal schooling is to increase earnings by 24%. This result is largely driven by regional effects for immigrants from Europe, Australia, and Canada. Vocational training and English classes are not significantly associated with accelerated wage growth.