A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Occupational Mobility: A Test of the Immigrant Assimilation Hypothesis1


  • 1

    Professor Chiswick acknowledges the research support of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois and IZA — Institute for the Study of Labor. Professor Miller acknowledges financial assistance from the Australian Research Council.


This article develops a model of the occupational mobility of immigrants and tests the hypotheses using data on males from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia, Panel I. The theoretical model generates hypotheses regarding a U-shaped pattern of occupational mobility from the “last job” in the origin, to the “first job” in the destination, to subsequent jobs in the destination, and regarding the depth of the “U.” The survey includes data on pre-immigration occupation, the “first” occupation in Australia (at six months) and the occupation after about three-and-a-half years in Australia. The hypotheses are supported by the empirical analysis.