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Lost in translation? The relative wages of immigrants in the Portuguese labour market

Publication Year 
2015
Abstract 
This article examines the wage gaps between immigrant and Portuguese workers using matched employer–employee data for the 2002–2008 period. We found that most of the wage gap is not due to the worst endowments of the immigrants but to differences in the returns to those characteristics and to the immigrant status effect. In particular, immigrants’ education and foreign experience are significantly less valued in the Portuguese labour market. Overall, the wages of immigrants do not fully converge to those of comparable natives as domestic experience increases. The assimilation rates tend to be stronger in the first years after migration and for immigrants with higher levels of foreign experience. Total immigrants are a heterogeneous group of different nationalities, with immigrants from the EU15 and China starring as the two extreme cases.
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