Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2016:21: Relations between immigration and adult skills: findings based on PIAAC

Patrik Lind () and Erik Mellander ()
Additional contact information
Patrik Lind: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Erik Mellander: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: The international survey of adult skills, PIAAC, records large differences in numeracy and literacy skills between immigrants and non-immigrants. We examine how these differences relate to the countries’ average skills and skill rankings. Immigrants are defined by country of birth or in terms of languages spoken. For almost all countries, the differences in average skills between non-immigrants and the country’s entire population are significant but small. Regarding skill rankings significant differences are found only for Sweden and these are found to be sensitive to the treatment of individuals that could not conduct the skill tests due to language difficulties.

Keywords: PIAAC; migration; language skills; average scores; rank uncertainty

JEL-codes: C15; I24; J15; O15

56 pages, November 23, 2016

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