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Native‐Migrant Wage Differential Across Occupations: Evidence from Australia


International Migration

Published online on


We investigate wage differential by migrant status across white‐collar and blue‐collar occupations in Australia. Migrants are observed to have a higher wage; this difference, however, does not exist once we control for covariates. The unconditional wage differential varies over wage distribution as well as by occupation. Significant wage differentials are found above the median: positive for white‐collar workers and negative for blue‐collar workers. Using recently developed decomposition methods based on Firpo, Fortin, and Lemieux (2009) we decompose wage differentials across their distribution. Overall, the wage advantage of migrants reflects their superior labour market characteristics, and in particular, their levels of education. We find that English language proficiency plays an important role in wage differences among immigrants from non‐English speaking countries.