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The conditional returns to origin-country human capital among Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium

By Agnieszka Kanas and Frank van Tubergen


This study extends the analysis of the economic returns to pre-migration human capital by examining the role of the receiving context, co-ethnic residential concentration, and post-migration investments in human capital. It uses large-scale survey data on Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium. The analysis demonstrates that regarding employment, Moroccan immigrants, that is, those originating from former French colonies receive larger returns to their origin-country education and work experience in French- vs. Dutch-speaking regions. Other than the positive interaction effect between co-ethnic residential concentration and work experience on employment, there is little evidence that co-ethnic concentration increases the returns to origin-country human capital. Speaking the host-country language facilitates economic returns to origin-country work experience. Conversely, immigrants who acquire host-country credentials and work experience receive lower returns to origin-country education and experience, suggesting that, at least among low-skilled immigrants, pre- and post-migration human capital substitute rather than complement each other. © 2014 Elsevier Inc

Topics: Belgium, Co-ethnic residential concentration, Economic outcomes, Immigrants, Linguistic region, Pre- and post-migration human capital, Education, Sociology and Political Science
Year: 2014
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