Determinants of Immigrant Selectivity and Skills

FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2000-12a

30 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2000

See all articles by Madeline Zavodny

Madeline Zavodny

University of North Florida; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Agnes Scott College

Date Written: May 2001


Whether immigrants are positively or negatively self-selected is much disputed. Whereas most previous studies have addressed this question by comparing the wages of immigrants to those of U.S. natives, this analysis uses occupation to examine the skill level of immigrants. Data on the occupational distribution of individuals granted legal permanent residence in 1995 indicate that the proportion of immigrants in skilled occupations is related to the corresponding proportion in source countries, but not necessarily to the return to skill and other economic factors in the country of origin.

Keywords: immigration, selection, occupation

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Zavodny, Madeline, Determinants of Immigrant Selectivity and Skills (May 2001). FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2000-12a, Available at SSRN: or

Madeline Zavodny (Contact Author)

University of North Florida ( email )

4567 St. Johns Bluff Road, South
Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072

Agnes Scott College ( email )

United States

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