Does Immigrant Selection Policy Matter? Labor Market Integration of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel and the United States

Ameed Saabneh, Rebbeca Tesfai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immigration policy debates currently focus on restricting immigration in favor of the highly skilled with the assumption that highly skilled immigrants will be better able to join the labor market and contribute to the economy. However, few studies empirically test the impact of immigrant selection policy by comparing labor market outcomes of immigrants from a single origin in multiple destinations. Fewer still address how race (specifically blackness) may impact the utility of these selection policies. This paper fills this gap by determining Ethiopian immigrants’ labor force participation, occupational status, and self-employment in the United States and Israel—countries with and without immigrant selection policies respectively. We find that Ethiopians experience similar labor market disadvantages relative to the native-born in both countries. These results indicate that rather than selection policy being the driver of labor market success, racial discrimination likely plays the largest role in determining Ethiopian (black) African immigrants’ labor market incorporation in both places.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)955-985
Number of pages31
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Immigration
  • Labor market
  • Race
  • Racial stratification

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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