Earnings and Occupational Attainment: Immigrants and the Native Born

31 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2007

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics

Date Written: March 2007

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 less-than-perfect international transferability of human capital skills. It shows that around 50 percent of the earnings gains associated with years of schooling derives from inter-occupational 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.

Keywords: immigrants, occupation, earnings

JEL Classification: J24, J31, J62, F22

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Miller, Paul W., Earnings and Occupational Attainment: Immigrants and the Native Born (March 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2676. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=978751 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.978751

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Paul W. Miller

Curtin University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth WA 6845
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Curtin University - Centre for Research in Applied Economics ( email )

GPO Box U1987
Perth, Western Australia 6845
Australia

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