Do Migrants Get Good Jobs? New Migrant Settlement in Australia

  • P. N. Raja Junankar
  • Stéphane Mahuteau


This paper investigates the ease with which recent immigrants to Australia from different countries and with different visa categories enter employment at an appropriate level to their prior education and experience in the source country. Unlike most of the earlier research in this field that studied the labour market status of migrants (wages, probabilities of employment, or unemployment, or participation) (see Miller, 1986; Beggs and Chapman 1988, 1990; Wooden, 1994; Borjas, 1999; McDonald and Worswick, 1999; Cobb-Clark, 2000, 2003; Richardson et al., 2001), this paper focuses on the quality of job that the migrant obtains on arrival in Australia. We provide alternative definitions of what is a good job1 in terms of objective and subjective criteria. The paper uses two sets of the longitudinal survey of immigrants to Australia (LSIA) data: the first cohort that arrived in 1993–1995 and the second cohort that arrived in 1999–2000. In particular, we study how changes in the social security legislation in 1997 (2-year waiting period for eligibility for benefits) affected the quality of job held by new migrants. While comparing the behaviour of migrants in the labour market with and without access to social security benefits, we study whether migrants are more likely to accept bad jobs after the legislative changes. The paper uses bivariate probit models to estimate the probabilities of accepting a good job in terms of the usual human capital and demographic variables (including the visa category for entry into Australia).


Labour Market Labour Market Status Reservation Wage Visa Category Social Security Benefit 
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© John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. N. Raja Junankar
  • Stéphane Mahuteau

There are no affiliations available

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