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Earnings and Occupational Attainment: Immigrants and the Native Born

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  • Chiswick, Barry R.

    ()
    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of occupational attainment and the impact of occupation on earnings. Results for both the native born and foreign born are presented, and these provide insights as to the earnings penalties associated with the less-than-perfect international transferability of human capital skills. It shows that around 50 percent of the earnings gains associated with years of schooling derives from inter-occupational mobility. When occupation is held constant, there is a large increase in the effect on earnings of pre-immigration labor market experience for the foreign born, but little change in either the payoff to labor market experience for the native born, or in the premium for post-arrival labor market experience for the foreign born. The estimates of the models of occupational attainment show that years of schooling, and, among the foreign born, proficiency in English, are the key factors determining access to high-paying occupations. Labor market experience has little effect on occupational outcomes among the native born. However, evaluated at 10 years, foreign labor market experience has a modest negative impact on current occupational status. Examination of this negative effect using quantile regression shows that it is concentrated among those in high status jobs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2676.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Earnings and Occupational Attainment among Immigrants' in: Industrial Relations, 48 (3), 2009, 454 - 465
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2676

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Keywords: immigrants; occupation; earnings;

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References

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  1. Paul W. Miller & Paul A. Volker, 1985. "On the Determination of Occupational Attainment and Mobility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 197-213.
  2. Groshen, Erica L, 1991. "Sources of Intra-industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-84, August.
  3. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-86, June.
  4. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  5. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
  6. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Incorporating Occupational Attainment in Studies of Male-Female Earnings Differentials," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 3-28.
  7. Harriet Duleep & Mark Regets, 1997. "Measuring immigrant wage growth using matched CPS files," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 239-249, May.
  8. Miller, Paul W, 1987. "The Wage Effect of the Occupational Segregation of Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 885-96, December.
  9. Nickell, Stephen, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53, January.
  10. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Occupational attainment and segregation by sex," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 506-517, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Javier Silvestre & Ma Isabel Ayuda & Vicente Pinilla, 2011. "The Labor Market Integration of Migrants: Barcelona, 1930," Working Papers 0003, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  2. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Occupational Attainment And Immigrant Economic Progress In Australia," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 08-03, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  3. Gilles Grenier & Li Xue, 2009. "Duration of Access of Canadian Immigrants to the First Job in Intended Occupation," Working Papers 0908E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  4. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
  5. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "Heterogeneous Returns to Personality - The Role of Occupational Choice," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-495, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

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