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Abstract

This paper uses data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia to examine the empirical relevance of a model of immigrant occupational mobility. Consistent with the model, there is a U-shaped pattern of occupational change from the pre-immigration occupation through to the occupation held after three-and-a-half years in Australia. The U is shallower for immigrants from countries similar to Australia than it is for immigrants from countries that differ more in language, occupational requirements, and labour market structure. The U-shaped pattern is deeper for immigrants who are refugees than for family migrants and is the least deep for economic migrants.