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Occupational Attainment and Immigrant Economic Progress in Australia

  • Chiswick, Barry R.


    (George Washington University)

  • Miller, Paul W.

    (Curtin University)

Using data from the 2001 Australian Census of Population and Housing, on adult men in full-time employment, this paper augments a conventional human capital earnings function with information on occupations. It also estimates models of occupational attainment. The results from both the earnings function and model of occupational attainment indicate that the limited international transferability of human capital skills results in immigrants entering into relatively low status occupations when they first enter the Australian labour market. Comparison with similar research for the US suggests that the different immigrant selection regimes (primarily family reunion in the US, skill-based immigration in Australia) do not impact on the negative association between occupational status and pre-immigration labour market experience.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3316.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Record, 2008, 84, S45-S56
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3316
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  1. Barry R Chiswick & Paul W Miller, 2007. "Earnings and Occupational Attainment: Immigrants and the Native Born," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 07-08, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  2. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W Miller, 2011. "The Negative Assimilation of Immigrants: A Special Case," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(3), pages 502-525, April.
  3. 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.
  4. Nickell, Stephen, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53, January.
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