Immigration and labour market outcomes in Australia: Findings from HILDA 2001–2014

Hang To, R. Quentin Grafton, Sue Regan

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Using panel data for the period 2001–2014 from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, hourly wage equations and probit models of the probability of being employed were estimated. Results show that English-language proficiency, education qualifications and work experience are important positive determinants of both individual wage and of the likelihood of having a paid job. By comparison to many previous studies that find either a negative or no wage gap for migrants, we find that male migrants from OECD and English-speaking countries earn a higher hourly wage than male native-born Australians and female migrants from these countries earn a similar wage as female native-born Australians. Without controlling for the education level, migrants from non-OECD and non-English speaking countries earn a similar wage compared to native born Australians. Controlling for their education level, migrants from non-OECD and non-English speaking countries earn less than native-born Australian workers, but this wage gap diminishes with their length of residency in Australia. We also find that there is no difference between male migrants and male native-born Australians in terms of the likelihood of being employed, but we do find that female migrants are more likely to be unemployed compared to female native-born Australians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEconomic Analysis and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


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