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Do Migrants succeed in the Australian Labour Market? Furher Evidence on Job Quality


  • Mahuteau, Stephane
  • Junankar, Pramod


While the Coalition Government was in power in Australia from 1996 to 2007, new immigrants have had to face tougher selection criteria and increased financial pressure. Most studies so far have overlooked the issue of the quality of the jobs obtained by new immigrants to Australia and whether the policy change has contributed to improve or worsen job quality among immigrants and their ability to move upward. Job quality is thought to be related to the channels of information used by immigrants in their job search. Some studies suggest that jobs found via networks of same origin migrants are of lower quality. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, we investigate the effect of time since settlement on the ability of migrants to better their labour market outcomes. Second, we quantify the relationships between job quality and migrants’ job search methods and test whether they were affected by the policy changes. Using the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA), we estimate the probabilities for immigrants to find “good jobs”, controlling for their initial employability upon arrival in Australia. We test several models involving various definitions of “good job”, from objective conditions, based on the nature and status of the occupation, to more subjective conditions based on job satisfaction. We show that the sole effect of being a second cohort migrant is beneficial for the probability to both find a job and a “good job” within the first year and half after settlement. After this time, cohort two migrants who still have not found a good job experience more difficulty to improve. Moreover, informal channels of information on job prospects have been slightly more efficient in enabling second cohort migrants to find good jobs, even though they still provide individuals with a disadvantage compared to formal channels.

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  • Mahuteau, Stephane & Junankar, Pramod, 2007. "Do Migrants succeed in the Australian Labour Market? Furher Evidence on Job Quality," MPRA Paper 8703, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8703

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2003. "Public policy and the labor market adjustment of new immigrants to Australia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 655-681, November.
    2. Stark, Oded & Wang, You Qiang, 2002. "Migration dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 159-164, July.
    3. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Occupational Mobility of Ethnic Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 58, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Some Job Contacts are More Equal Than Others: Earnings and Job Information Networks," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0404, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    7. P.N. (Raja) Junankar & Stephane Mahuteau, 2005. "Do Migrants Get Good Jobs? New Migrant Settlement in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages 34-46, August.
    8. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A, 2000. "Do Selection Criteria Make a Difference? Visa Category and the Labour Market Status of Immigrants to Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(232), pages 15-31, March.
    9. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    10. Chiswick, Barry R. & Lee, Yew Liang & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "The Determinants of the Geographic Concentration among Immigrants: Application to Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 462, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Tanabe, Sakiko, 2003. "Nonmarket networks among migrants," FCND briefs 169, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Simon, Curtis J & Warner, John T, 1992. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker: The Effect of Old Boy Networks on Job Match Quality, Earnings, and Tenure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 306-330, July.
    13. Prem Jung Thapa & Tue Gørgens, 2006. "Finding Employment After Migration: How Long Does It Take?," Chapters,in: Public Policy and Immigrant Settlement, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Harriet Orcutt Duleep & Mark C. Regets, 1996. "Earnings Convergence: Does It Matter Where Immigrants Come From or Why?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 130-134, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hipólito Simón & Raul Ramos & Esteban Sanromá, 2014. "Immigrant Occupational Mobility: Longitudinal Evidence from Spain," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 223-255, May.
    2. Hipólito Simón & Raúl Ramos & Esteban Sanromá, 2011. "Occupational mobility of immigrants in a low skilled economy. The Spanish case," Working Papers 2011/28, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Elena Vidal-Coso & Pau Miret-Gamundi, 2014. "The labour trajectories of immigrant women in Spain: Are there signs of upward social mobility?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(13), pages 337-380, August.

    More about this item


    migrants; job quality; immigration policy; migrant networks; bivariate probit;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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