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Selection Policy and the Labour Market Outcomes of New Immigrants

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  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Many countries are placing a greater emphasis on productive skills in the immigrant selection policies as a way of achieving national objectives regarding immigration. These changes stem primarily from the belief that skill-based immigrants do better in some sense and provide greater economic benefits than immigrants admitted on the basis of their family relationships. This paper takes advantage of a change in Australian selection policy in the 1990s to assess the extent to which selection policy can facilitate employment outcomes for new arrivals over the medium run. The results indicate that the increased emphasis on productive skills in the selection process led to striking differences in the human capital endowments of new immigrants. These improvements in human capital in turn completely explain the higher participation rates amongst immigrants arriving in Australia at the end of the 1990s. Moreover, approximately half of the fall in men’s unemployment rates also stems from increases in productive skills, though the substantial decline in women’s unemployment rates are driven solely by changes in the returns to skills rather than skill levels themselves. Overall, these results indicate that there is a large potential for selection policy to influence immigrant outcomes not just immediately after migration but also in the medium run. At the same time, it is also clear that income-support policy and the overall state of the Australian labour market also had a hand in improving the labour market position of new arrivals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1380.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: D.A. Cobb-Clark and S. Khoo (eds.), Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement, Edward Elgar 2006
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1380

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Keywords: labour market participation; immigration; selection policy; unemployment;

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References

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  1. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Settlement Policies and the Economic Success of Immigrants," Working Paper Series 2000:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Friedberg, Rachel M, 2000. "You Can't Take It with You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 221-51, April.
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 1998. "Diversity and Immigration," NBER Working Papers 6535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration, Language and Multiculturalism in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(4), pages 369-385.
  5. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  6. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1995. "Canadian Immigration Policy: The Effectiveness of the Point System and Other Instruments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-41, November.
  7. Denise J. Doiron & W. Craig Riddell, 1994. "The Impact of Unionization on Male-Female Earnings Differences in Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 504-534.
  8. Khan, Aliya Hashmi, 1997. "Post-migration investment in education by immigrants in the United States," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 285-313.
  9. Wright, Robert E & Maxim, Paul S, 1993. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-52, November.
  10. repec:ilo:ilowps:338944 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Dustmann Christian & Preston Ian P, 2007. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-41, November.
  12. George J. Borjas, 1993. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 21-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 2000. "Do Selection Criteria Make a Difference? Visa Category and the Labour Market Status of Immigrants to Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(232), pages 15-31, March.
  14. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  15. Barry R. Chiswick, 1987. "Immigration Policy, Source Countries and Immigrant Skills: Australia, Canada and the United States," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 45, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. Glenn Withers, 2002. "Population Ageing and the Role of Immigration," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(1), pages 104-112.
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Cited by:
  1. Matloob Piracha & Stephane Mahuteau & Massimiliano Tani, 2010. "Selection Policy and Immigrants’ Remittance Behaviour," Studies in Economics 1003, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Tim Hatton & Joseph P. Ferrie, 2014. "Two Centuries of International Migration," CEH Discussion Papers 23, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Richard G. Harris & Peter E. Robertson, 2007. "The Dynamic Effects of Skilled Labour Targeting in Immigration Programs," Discussion Papers 2007-21, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  4. Aydemir, Abdurrahman, 2012. "Skill Based Immigrant Selection and Labor Market Outcomes by Visa Category," IZA Discussion Papers 6433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-11 is not listed on IDEAS

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