Qualified Latin American immigrants earn less than similarly qualified Spaniards

Feb 24, 2011
Qualified Latin American immigrants earn less than similarly qualified Spaniards. Credit: SINC

A study by the University of Salamanca (USAL) has looked into how salaries would differ if immigrants were paid in the same way as Spanish workers according to education and experience. The results show that, in higher salary ranges, Latin American immigrants earn around 20% less than their Spanish counterparts.

"In this paper we analysed the salary differences between Spanish workers and Latin American or Caribbean immigrants in 2006", José Ignacio Antón, a researcher at the USAL and co-author of the study, which has been published in the Journal of Applied Economics, tells SINC.

The study is based on the 2006 Salary Structure Survey, the first nationwide study based on a representative sample of foreign and Spanish employees.

Over this economic boom period in Spain, Spaniards viewed immigration as the major problem facing Spain, far ahead of unemployment and housing (data from the Centre for Sociological Research, CIS 2006)

The researcher says: "Econometric analysis of these data enables us to identify the salary differences between workers with the same characteristics (age, experience, length of service, educational level and industry sector) at various points in the salary range".

The conclusions indicate that salary differences widen at the higher end of the salary range, reaching a divergence of almost 20% between Spanish and Latin American workers on the highest salaries.

"Salary differences are very narrow at the lower part of the salary range, possibly due to the effect of labour market variables such as minimum wage and collective bargaining agreements. As you go up the range, you see these differences becoming ever greater", explains Antón.

Transferable training – a possible solution

The researchers speculate in the study about the possible causes for these differences. "One possible explanation is that immigrants' and professional training – what economists call human capital – was acquired in their countries of origin, and this is not always directly transferable or applicable in their destination country, particularly in the first years after they immigrate".

Another result of the study is the "virtual absence" of salary differences between Spanish-speaking Latin American and Caribbean immigrants with respect to other foreign . "This circumstance is possibly due to the fact that immigrants take up jobs requiring few qualifications, and in which command of the language is not an important asset", concludes Antón.

Explore further: Insider trading study shows stronger enforcement

More information: José Ignacio Antón, Rafael Múñoz de Bustillo, Miguel Carrera, Labor Market Performance of Latin American and Caribbean Inmigrants in Spain, Journal of Applied Economics 13 (2): 233-261, 2010.

Provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Benefits matter in agriculture job displacement

May 05, 2010

Common sense suggests that workers without unemployment insurance will often grab the first job that comes their way, even if the new job is low-paying or not a good career match.

Study reveals the secrets to negotiating a higher salary

Oct 21, 2010

A recent study conducted by George Mason University and Temple University researchers uncovered the most effective strategies to negotiating a bigger salary. The study analyzed various approaches to the negotiation process, ...

Recommended for you

Insider trading study shows stronger enforcement

8 hours ago

The first major study of the enforcement of Australia's insider trading laws has shown the number of insider trading cases brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is increasing, ...

The unexpected benefits of adjustable rate mortgages

Oct 22, 2014

Using loan level data matched to consumer credit records, researchers have been able to determine that a reduction in mortgage payments of as little as $150 a month spurred a reduction in mortgage defaults and an increase ...

Migrant employment on the rise

Oct 20, 2014

Skilled migrants are enjoying better jobs and higher levels of employment thanks to a shift in policy, according to a new study by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University ...

User comments : 0