Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2013:6: Decomposing immigrant wage assimilation - the role of workplaces and occupations

Tove Eliasson ()
Additional contact information
Tove Eliasson: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This article uses a matched employer-employee panel data of the Swedish labor market to study immigrant wage assimilation, decomposing the wage catch-up into parts which can be attributed to relative wage growth within and between workplaces and occupations. This study shows that failing to control for selection into employment when studying wage assimilation of immigrants is very likely to under-estimate wage catch-up. The results further show that both poorly and highly educated immigrants catch up through relative wage growth within workplaces and occupations, suggesting that employer-specific learning plays an important role for the wage catch-up. The highly educated suffers from not beneting from occupational mobility as much as the natives do. This could be interpreted as a lack of access to the full range of occupations, possibly explained by diffculties in signaling specific skills.

Keywords: Firm sorting; occupational mobility; wage assimilation; host country specific human capital; employer learning

JEL-codes: D22; D31; J31; J71

40 pages, March 14, 2013

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