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On the Relative Gains to Immigration: A Comparison of the Labour Market Position of Indians in the USA, the UK and India

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  • Jonathan Wadsworth
  • Augustin de Coulon

Abstract

While most studies of the decision to immigrate focus on the absolute income differences between countries, we argue that relative change in purchasing power or status, as captured by an individual's ranking in the wage distribution, may also be important. This will in turn be influenced by differential levels of supply, demand and migration costs across the skill distribution and across countries. Using data on Indian immigrants in the United States and the UK matched to comparable data on individuals who remained in India, we show that the average Indian immigrant will experience a fall in their relative ranking in the wage distribution compared to the position they would have achieved had they remained in the origin country. The fall in relative rankings is larger for immigrants to the UK than to the US, and largest of all for those with intermediate skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0851.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0851

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: immigration; wages; relative ranking;

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  1. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 2002. "The Immigrant and native-born wage distributions: Evidence from United States censuses," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 97-121, October.
  2. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
  3. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 152-197, 02.
  4. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2001. "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter J. & Trejo, Stephen, 2003. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Labor Market Institutions and Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 802, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Pereira, Pedro T. & Vogler, Michael & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "Portuguese Migrants in the German Labor Market: Performance and Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 20, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1988. "Immigration And Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 2566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  11. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Trejo, Stephen, 2002. "Human Capital and Earnings of Female Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2009. "The Economic Situation of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany, and the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0922, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2009. "The Economic Situation of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp0951, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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