International Handbook on the Economics of Migration
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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.
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Chapter 12: Occupational sorting of ethnic groups

Krishna Patel, Yevgeniya Savchenko and Francis Vella


Immigrant occupational choice has an important impact on labor market outcomes of the natives and immigrants in the host country. This impact manifests itself on the wage rates and employment opportunities of both groups. Thus occupational sorting among immigrants is an important area of study particularly to inform policy questions focused on identifying occupations in which new waves of immigrants may be employed, understanding their sorting process, estimating the impact from externalities on natives from immigrants’ occupational choices, and total economy welfare. Prior to evaluating the impact of the occupational sorting of immigrants, it is worth examining why immigrants choose to seek employment in the certain occupations. Closely related to this question is the type of immigrant that is attracted to the United States. For example, some studies have shown that immigrants sort into occupation based on their skill sets, which reflects both the initial immigration decision and the immigration policies in the host country.

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