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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. 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, Claremont Colleges 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2004. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0401, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. 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, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State 45, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Diversity and Immigration," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 117-142 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Working Papers 3691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(1), pages 104-112.
  7. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P. & Aslund, O., 2000. "Settlement Policies and the Economic Success of Immigrants," Papers, Uppsala - Working Paper Series 2000-22, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  8. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-41, November.
  10. repec:ilo:ilowps:338944 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(232), pages 15-31, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  14. 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, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 32(4), pages 369-385.
  15. Khan, Aliya Hashmi, 1997. "Post-migration investment in education by immigrants in the United States," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 285-313.
  16. Wright, Robert E & Maxim, Paul S, 1993. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: Empirical Evidence from Canada," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-52, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ferrie, Joseph & Hatton, Timothy J., 2013. "Two Centuries of International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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).
  3. Matloob Piracha & Stephane Mahuteau & Massimiliano Tani, 2010. "Selection Policy and Immigrants’ Remittance Behaviour," Studies in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Kent 1003, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Altorjai, Szilvia, 2013. "Over-qualification of immigrants in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  5. Richard G. Harris & Peter E. Robertson, 2007. "The Dynamic Effects of Skilled Labour Targeting in Immigration Programs," Discussion Papers, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales 2007-21, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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