The Labor Market Experience of U.S. Immigrants: Occupational Match And Mobility

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 30.10.2007, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Catherine Y. Co (University of Nebraska Omaha)


This paper examines the determinants of occupational match and mobility using data from the 2003 New Immigrant Survey. Using logit and multinomial logit regressions, the following patterns are uncovered: First, the probability of having the same last foreign and first U.S. occupation decreases with foreign education because the probability of occupational downgrades increases with foreign education. Second, employment-based immigrants have a higher probability of obtaining the same first U.S. occupation as their last foreign occupation while other immigrant types have higher probabilities of both upward and downward occupational mobility between these two occupations. Third, the probability of remaining in the same first U.S. occupation diminishes with U.S. education and proficiency in English—these factors increase one’s chances of moving up the occupational scale. Finally, admission class continues to be an important determinant of immigrants’ occupational mobility beyond their first U.S. jobs. In particular, those admitted under the diversity program are less likely to move up the occupational scale compared to those admitted based on employment.

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