February 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Wealth & Poverty | Understanding the Wage Divergence between Immigrants and Natives, March 2

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The Wealth and Poverty theme presents Dr. Klara Sabirianova Peter on “Limits to Wage Growth: Understanding the Wage Divergence between Immigrants and Natives” on Friday, March 2,  from 3-4:15 p.m. at Alden 319.

Abstract: This study finds evidence of wage divergence between immigrants and natives in Germany using a country-wide household panel from 1984 to 2014. We incorporate the possibility of wage divergence into a two-period model of economic assimilation by modeling the differences in the efficiency of human capital production and prices per unit of human capital between immigrants and natives. Individual rates of wage convergence are found to be higher for immigrants who fled warfare zones, belong to established ethnic networks, and acquired more years of pre-migration schooling. Using a doubly robust treatment effect estimator and the IV method, the study finds that the endogenous post-migration education in the host country contributes substantially to closing the wage gap with natives. The treatment effect is heterogeneous, favoring immigrants who are similar to natives. This paper also addresses the commonly ignored sample selection issue due to non-random survey attrition and employment participation. Empirical evidence favors the “efficiency” over the “discrimination” channels of wage divergence.

Sabirianova is Assistant Professor and William R. Kenan Jr. Fellow at the Department of Economics and Fellow of the Carolina Population Center at University of North Carolina‐Chapel Hill. Her current research focuses on various areas of applied microeconomics of emerging markets, bribery and corruption, contract violations and social interactions, human capital and development, FDI spillovers and convergence of domestic firms to the efficiency frontier.  She examines the effect of structural changes on the quality of life, labor markets, and firm performance.

Some of her recent papers analyze the effect of tax policies and labor regulation on tax evasion and the shadow economy. Her research has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Research in Labor Economics, Journal of European Economic Association, and Problems of Economic Transition. Research on wage contract violation is forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics and Academy of Management Journal.

DR. Klara Sabirianova Peter, portrait

Dr. Klara Sabirianova Peter

This event, which also is part of the Economics Seminar series, is cosponsored with the Economics Department.

Any questions on Dr Peter’s talk, please email Roberto Duncan at or Yeong Kim at


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