Occupational Transition and Country-of-Origin Effects in the Early Stage Occupational Assimilation of Immigrants: Some Evidence from Australia
Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 20/09
Date: July 2009
We examine the occupational attainment of recent immigrants at two years post migration in order to study their early stage assimilation into the labour market in Australia. Human capital endowments and country-of-origin effects are examined for six occupational groups (including unemployment). We also study transitions across occupations from source to host country. The empirical approach utilises the Ordered Generalised Extreme Value model which embodies differing utility functions across occupational outcomes, as well as accounting for any ordering in these outcomes. The results suggest that the transferability of knowledge and skills is affected by cultural and social backgrounds, and that non-Western immigrants are disproportionately channelled into inferior jobs post migration. The investigation of the country-of-origin effect on the skilled migrants’ occupational transition process is especially apt in the context of skill shortages in many host countries.