Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration
AbstractThis paper uses survey data on employment immigrants in Australia and the United States to identify the main determinants of the size and skill composition of employment immigrants to developed countries. Our approach emphasizes the key roles of world prices of skills and country proximity. Our empirical results are consistent with the view that these factors, rather than the nuances of selection systems, dominate. There are five main findings: (1) Higher skill prices in sending countries decrease the number of immigrants but increase their average schooling. (2) More-distant countries send fewer but more skilled immigrants. (3) Given skill prices and proximity, countries with higher income send more immigrants, of lower skill. (4) Within a sending country, Australia attracts less total but higher-skill migrants than does the United States. This can be attributed, however, to the fact that the skill price in Australia is lower than the U.S. skill price, so that immigration gains are greater from immigrating to United States. (5) The estimated coefficients determining migration flows to Australia and the United States are the same for both countries. We conclude that geography thus matters in the sense that who a country’s neighbors are, in terms of their level and type of development, has a significant effect on the size and skill composition of employment migrants. There is no evidence that the differences in the selection mechanism used to screen employment migrants in the two countries play a significant role in affecting the characteristics of skill migration.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3564.
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Jagdish Bhagwati and Gordon H. Hanson (eds.), Skilled Migration Today: Phenomenon, Prospects, Problems, Policies. New York: Oxford, 2009
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-07-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2008-07-14 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2008-07-14 (Economics of Human Migration)
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