Australia's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes in a Family Context: Evidence from Administrative Data

49 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020

See all articles by Cahit Guven

Cahit Guven

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Lan Tong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mutlu Yuksel

Dalhousie University; IZA

Abstract

This paper examines the efficacy of Australian points system in a family context among working-age permanent resident immigrants who arrived between 2000 and 2011 when there was a major focus on skills selection. 67% of these immigrants were granted a skilled visa while 25% hold a spousal visa (spouses of Australian citizens). More than half of the skilled visa recipients are the spouses of the primary applicants. Primary applicants among skilled visa holders are assessed for their skills in line with Australian points system but secondary applicants, such as spouses, among skilled visa holders and spousal visa holders are not subject to any skills assessment before becoming permanent residents. We study differences in economic outcomes by permanent visa types and the role of points system factors in explaining these differences using Personal Income Tax and Migrants Integrated Dataset and Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset. We find that primary skilled visa holders earn at least 26-28 percent higher than spousal visa holders and this is similar for both genders. However, spouses of primary skilled visa holders earn 13-18 percent higher than spousal visa holders. This difference is higher among females than males. Occupation differences can account for nearly half of the differences in income and can entirely capture the role of education and English proficiency. Primary skilled immigrants and their spouses have higher rates of labour force participation and employment than spousal visa holders starting in the first year of arrival and the gap is much higher for primary skilled visa holders but these differences do not disappear quickly.

Keywords: points system, immigration, administrative data, Australia

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J24, J31, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Guven, Cahit and Tong, Lan and Yuksel, Mutlu and Yuksel, Mutlu, Australia's Immigration Selection System and Labour Market Outcomes in a Family Context: Evidence from Administrative Data. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13377, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3631587

Cahit Guven (Contact Author)

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance ( email )

221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria 3215
Australia

Lan Tong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Mutlu Yuksel

Dalhousie University ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://myweb.dal.ca/mt899590/

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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