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The Distribution of Discrimination in Immigrant Earnings- Evidence from Britain 1974-93


  • Kevin J Denny;

    (University College Dublin and Institute for Fiscal Studies, London)

  • Colm P Harmon:

    (University College Dublin)

  • Maurice Roche



This paper uses the General Household Survey data for the UK to study earnings discrimination between natives and migrants. The key result is that the main source of discrimination is ethnicity rather than migrant status per se. This paper differs from the conventional focus in studies of earnings discrimination, which focus on mean wage differences. In contrast we study the entire distribution of the wage gap, and incorporate istributionally sensitive measures of the wage gap reflecting different levels of aversion to discrimination. Our results are consistent with previous studies for the UK that find that on-white immigrants are the most widely discriminated in terms of their labour market returns. Moreover, this discrimination on the basis of colour is also present in the sub-sample of natives.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin J Denny; & Colm P Harmon: & Maurice Roche, 1997. "The Distribution of Discrimination in Immigrant Earnings- Evidence from Britain 1974-93," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n690897, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n690897

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Coral Río & Carlos Gradín & Olga Cantó, 2011. "The measurement of gender wage discrimination: the distributional approach revisited," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(1), pages 57-86, March.
    2. Longhi, Simonetta & Nicoletti, Cheti & Platt, Lucinda, 2009. "Decomposing pay gaps across the wage distribution: investigating inequalities of ethno-religious groups and disabled people," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-31, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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