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How Immigrants Fare Across the Earnings Distribution: International Analyses

  • Chiswick, Barry R.


    (George Washington University)

  • Le, Anh T.


    (Curtin University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

This paper applies the quantile regression methodology to the study of the determinants of the distribution of earnings among the native born and immigrants in the United States and Australia. The analysis for immigrants is performed separately for those from English-speaking and non-English speaking origins. Using Census data, the quantile regressions permit the measurement of the partial effect of explanatory variables (such as schooling and experience) and the native born-immigrant earnings differential at the different deciles of the earnings distribution. Among other findings, the effects on earnings of schooling and labor market experience are shown to increase at higher deciles. The native-immigrant earnings gap varies by decile, and in particular increases in the U.S. at higher deciles. Minimum wages in the U.S. appear to compress earnings at low deciles, while the Australian minimum (administered) wage system appears to compress earnings across the distribution of earnings.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2405.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2008, 61 (3), 353-373
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2405
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  1. Kalena E. Cortes, 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 465-480, May.
  2. 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 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  3. Kristin F. Butcher & John DiNardo, 2002. "The Immigrant and native-born wage distributions: Evidence from United States censuses," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 97-121, October.
  4. Cortes, Kalena E., 2004. "Are Refugees Different from Economic Immigrants? Some Empirical Evidence on the Heterogeneity of Immigrant Groups in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Eide, Eric & Showalter, Mark H., 1998. "The effect of school quality on student performance: A quantile regression approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 345-350, March.
  6. 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).
  7. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "The dynamics of changes in the female wage distribution in the USA: a quantile regression approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 1-30.
  8. Eric R. Eide & Mark H. Showalter & David P. Sims, 2002. "The Effects Of Secondary School Quality On The Distribution Of Earnings," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 160-170, 04.
  9. Heather Antecol & Peter Kuhn & Stephen Trejo, 2006. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Sources of Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada and the United States," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0603, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  11. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  12. Antecol, Heather & Kuhn, Peter J. & Trejo, Stephen, 2003. "Assimilation via Prices or Quantities? Labor Market Institutions and Immigrant Earnings Growth in Australia, Canada, and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 802, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  14. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  15. Anh T. Le & Paul W. Miller, 2004. "Inter-Temporal Decompositions of Labour Market and Social Outcomes," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 10-20, 03.
  16. Paul W. Miller & Leanne M. Neo, 2003. "Labour Market Flexibility and Immigrant Adjustment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(246), pages 336-356, 09.
  17. Kelly Bedard, . "School Quality and the Distribution of Male Earnings in Canada," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 1999-13, Claremont Colleges.
  18. Jaume Garcia & Pedro J. Hernández & Ángel López Nicolás, 1998. "How wide is the gap? An investigation of gender wage differences using quantile regression," Economics Working Papers 287, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  19. 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.
  20. Harriet Duleep & Mark Regets, 1997. "Measuring immigrant wage growth using matched CPS files," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 239-249, May.
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