Assessing human capital transferability into the U.S. labor market among latino immigrants to the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scholars have questioned whether international migrants from Latin America are able to transfer their levels of education into the U.S. labor market. In this article, the author examines the data from the Latin American Migration Project for Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua to observe the ability of each of the immigrant groups to convert prior education into occupational attainments within the U.S. labor market. Results show intercountry differences in the ability of the immigrants to translate educational attainments into occupational outcomes. Nicaraguans are by far the most educated and are much better able to translate home country schooling into highly skilled U.S. occupations. However, findings reveal that Nicaraguans have received more of an occupational benefit from having legal documents. The author argues that in addition to divergent patterns of educational selectivity, the contrasting treatment of Nicaraguans and Mexicans by U.S. immigration law seems to be responsible, at least in part, for their very different positions in the U.S. labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume630
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Demography
  • Education
  • Immigration policy
  • Labor and migration
  • Latin American migration
  • Sociology of work

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