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Are immigrants so stuck to the floor that the ceiling is irrelevant?

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  • Hunt, Priscillia

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

In this paper, the immigrant-native wage differential is explained through quantile regression estimations. Using repeated cross-sections of the British Labour Force Survey from 1993-2005, we analyse the returns to covariates across the conditional earnings distribution. We estimate a pooled model with an immigrant dummy and separate models for immigrants and natives of the UK. Our results show that the positive wage gap in favour of immigrants is attributed to those at higher quantiles. Returns to education and experience vary wider for natives than for immigrants. We decompose the wage gap in the Blinder-Oaxaca framework and apply quantile regression techniques to see if immigrants simply have more viable labour market characteristics than natives or if there is a preference for immigrant workers (reverse discrimination). Our findings suggest immigrants should actually be earning more and there is sufficient evidence of discrimination. This finding is, however, not symmetric across the conditional wage distribution and immigrants atthe bottom face more discrimination than those at the top.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 838.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:838

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Keywords: immigration ; wage differential ; quantile regression ; Blinder-Oaxaca ; decomposition;

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References

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  1. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  2. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Chiswick, Barry R. & Hurst, Michael E., 2000. "The Employment, Unemployment and Unemployment Compensation Benefits of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
  5. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  6. Clark, Ken & Lindley, Joanne, 2006. "Immigrant Labour Market Assimilation and Arrival Effects: Evidence from the UK Labour Force Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 1998. "The Immigrant and Native-born Wage Distributions: Evidence from United States Censuses," NBER Working Papers 6630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chiswick, Barry R. & Le, Anh T. & Miller, Paul W., 2006. "How Immigrants Fare Across the Earnings Distribution: International Analyses," IZA Discussion Papers 2405, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sokbae 'Simon' Lee, 2004. "Endogeneity in quantile regression models: a control function approach," CeMMAP working papers CWP08/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Green, Francis & Machin, Stephen & Wilkinson, David, 1998. "The Meaning and Determinants of Skills Shortages," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(2), pages 165-87, May.
  11. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  12. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Chiswick, Barry R, 1980. "The Earnings of White and Coloured Male Immigrants in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 81-87, February.
  14. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  15. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-43, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael & Carrera, Miguel & Antón, José-Ignacio, 2009. "From guests to hosts: a first whole picture of immigrant-native wage differentials in Spain," MPRA Paper 13928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Anees, Muhammad & Sajjad, Muhammad & Ahmed, Ishfaq, 2011. "A counterfactual decomposition analysis of immigrants-natives earnings in Malaysia," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-51, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. José-Ignacio Antón & Rafael Mu�oz de Bustillo, 2009. "Immigration And Discrimination In A Former Emigrant Country: The Case Of Spain," Working Papers 2009.2, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
  4. Antón, José-Ignacio & Carrera, Miguel & Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael, 2009. "How are you doing in your grandpa’s country? Labour market performance of Latin American immigrants in Spain," MPRA Paper 15051, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. José-Ignacio Antón & Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo & Miguel Carrera, 2010. "From guests to hosts: immigrant-native wage differentials in Spain," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(6), pages 645-659, September.

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