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Earnings and Occupational Attainment: Immigrants and the Native Born

Author

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  • Barry R Chiswick

    (Department of Economics, The University of Illinois at Chicago and The IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor)

  • Paul W Miller

    (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of occupational attainment and the impact of occupation on earnings. Results for both the native born and foreign born are presented, and these provide insights as to the earnings penalties associated with the lessthan- perfect international transferability of human capital skills. It shows that around 50 percent of the earnings gains associated with years of schooling derives from interoccupational mobility. When occupation is held constant, there is a large increase in the effect on earnings of pre-immigration labor market experience for the foreign born, but little change in either the payoff to labor market experience for the native born, or in the premium for post-arrival labor market experience for the foreign born. The estimates of the models of occupational attainment show that years of schooling, and, among the foreign born, proficiency in English, are the key factors determining access to high-paying occupations. Labor market experience has little effect on occupational outcomes among the native born. However, evaluated at 10 years, foreign labor market experience has a modest negative impact on current occupational status. Examination of this negative effect using quantile regression shows that it is concentrated among those in high status jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:07-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    2. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Occupational Attainment and Segregation by Sex," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 506-517, July.
    3. Miller, Paul W, 1987. "The Wage Effect of the Occupational Segregation of Women in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 885-896, December.
    4. Paul W. Miller & Paul A. Volker, 1985. "On the Determination of Occupational Attainment and Mobility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 197-213.
    5. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-486, June.
    6. Randall S. Brown & Marilyn Moon & Barbara S. Zoloth, 1980. "Incorporating Occupational Attainment in Studies of Male-Female Earnings Differentials," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(1), pages 3-28.
    7. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    8. Stephen Nickell, 1982. "The Determinants of Occupational Success in Britain," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 43-53.
    9. Harriet Duleep & Mark Regets, 1997. "Measuring immigrant wage growth using matched CPS files," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(2), pages 239-249, May.
    10. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "Sources of Intra-Industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-884.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 2008. "Occupational Attainment and Immigrant Economic Progress in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 45-56, September.
    2. Katrin John & Stephan Thomsen, 2014. "Heterogeneous returns to personality: the role of occupational choice," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 553-592, September.
    3. Sherrilyn Billger & Carlos Lamarche, 2015. "A panel data quantile regression analysis of the immigrant earnings distribution in the United Kingdom and United States," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 705-750, September.
    4. Javier Silvestre & Vicente Pinilla & Mª Isabel Ayuda, 2011. "The Labor Market Integration of Migrants: Barcelona, 1930," Economic Reports 02-2011, FEDEA.
    5. Gilles Grenier & Li Xue, 2009. "Duration of Access of Canadian Immigrants to the First Job in Intended Occupation," Working Papers 0908E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    6. Chiswick, Barry R. & Wang, Zhiling, 2016. "Social Contacts, Dutch Language Proficiency and Immigrant Economic Performance in the Netherlands: A Longitudinal Study," IZA Discussion Papers 9760, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Aldashev, Alisher & Gernandt, Johannes & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2009. "Language usage, participation, employment and earnings: Evidence for foreigners in West Germany with multiple sources of selection," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 330-341, June.
    8. Yigit Aydede & Atul Dar, 2017. "Is the lower return to immigrants’ foreign schooling a postarrival problem in Canada?," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-25, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrants; Occupation; Earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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