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Immigrants at new destinations: how they fare and why


  • Anabela Carneiro
  • Natércia Fortuna
  • José Varejão



Using matched employer-employee data, we identify the determinants of immigrants’ earnings in the Portuguese labor market. Results previously reported for countries with a long tradition of hosting migrants are also valid in a new destination country. Two-thirds of the gap is attributable to match-specific and employer characteristics. Occupational downgrading and segregation into low-wage workplaces are two major causes behind the wage gap.
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Suggested Citation

  • Anabela Carneiro & Natércia Fortuna & José Varejão, 2012. "Immigrants at new destinations: how they fare and why," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1165-1185, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:25:y:2012:i:3:p:1165-1185
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-011-0387-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kamil DYBCZAK & Kamil GALUSCAK, 2013. "Changes in the Czech Wage Structure: Does Immigration Matter?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 63(2), pages 108-128, May.
    2. Martins, Pedro S. & Piracha, Matloob & Varejão, José, 2012. "Do Immigrants Displace Native Workers? Evidence from Matched Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6644, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Sónia Cabral & Cláudia Duarte, 2013. "Mind the gap! The relative wages of immigrants in the Portuguese labour market," Working Papers w201305, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Sónia Cabral & Cláudia Duarte, 2012. "The wage gap of immigrants in the Portuguese labour market," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    5. Nuno Ornelas Martins & Américo Mendes, 2012. "Social Exclusion of Immigrants from a Capability Perspective: The Case of Portugal," Chapters,in: Globalization Trends and Regional Development, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Armando J. Garcia Pires, 2015. "Brain Drain And Brain Waste," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(1), pages 1-34, March.
    7. Roberta Capello & Tomaz Ponce Dentinho (ed.), 2012. "Globalization Trends and Regional Development," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14815.

    More about this item


    Immigrants’ earnings; Workplace concentration of immigrants; Matched employer–employee data; J15; J61; J71;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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