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.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
- Labor market
- Racial stratification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law