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Immigrant Wage and Employment Assimilation: A Comparison of Methods


  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Hanel, Barbara

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • McVicar, Duncan

    () (Queen's University Belfast)


We compare alternative methods for estimating immigrant wage and employment assimilation using unique panel data over 2001–2009 for a large, nationally-representative sample of immigrants. Previous assimilation estimates have been mainly based on cross-sectional data and have therefore suffered from a range of potential biases. We find that a fixed-effects model generates estimated employment assimilation profiles that are flatter and significantly different to those produced by cross-sectional and synthetic cohort methods. However, there are no significant differences in the wage assimilation profiles across alternative methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hanel, Barbara & McVicar, Duncan, 2012. "Immigrant Wage and Employment Assimilation: A Comparison of Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 7062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7062

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    2. Darren Lubotsky, 2011. "The Effect of Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure on Recent Immigrants' Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 59-71, February.
    3. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
    4. Harriet Duleep & Daniel Dowhan, 2002. "Insights from longitudinal data on the earnings growth of U.S. foreign-born men," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 485-506, August.
    5. Michael Beenstock & Barry Chiswick & Ari Paltiel, 2010. "Testing the immigrant assimilation hypothesis with longitudinal data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 7-27, March.
    6. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
    7. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Duncan, Alan S, 2017. "Exchange rate fluctuations and immigrants' labour market outcomes: New evidence from Australian household panel data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 174-186.
    3. Robert Breunig & Syed Hasan & Mosfequs Salehin, 2013. "The Immigrant Wage Gap and Assimilation in Australia: Does Unobserved Heterogeneity Matter?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(287), pages 490-507, December.
    4. repec:eee:ecanpo:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    immigration; immigrant assimilation; employment; wages; Australia;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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