There has been a resurgence of immigrants in western countries over the past few decades. Although most immigrants choose a "traditional" destination, such as Australia, Canada and the United States, many other countries are receiving relatively large immigrant flows. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Migration Outlook 2009, 10 per cent of the population in the United Kingdom (UK) was foreign-born in 2007. As a result, the impact of...[Show more] immigration on the host economy has always been a contentious topic in the host countries. The political debate is centered on three substantive topics. First, how do immigrants perform in the host country's labour market? Second, what impact do immigrants have on the labour outcomes of natives? Finally, which immigration policy most benefits the host country? This thesis embarks on the first topic with respect to Australia and the UK. Chapter 2 explores the impact of English proficiency on the labour supply of recent immigrants in Australia. While previous research has shown that English ability is important for participation and employment, almost no research, and none in Australia, has been done with respect to hours worked by immigrants. This study uses the second cohort of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia (LSIA) data to estimate a Chamberlain-style Tobit random effects estimator. The results suggest that English ability is positively related to hours worked by immigrants. Chapter 3 investigates the impact of social security payments on the labour supply of recent immigrants to Australia after the policy change. This research uses the first wave of two sets of LSIA data as treatment group and Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) as control group to analyse the short-term immigrant labour market outcomes before and after the policy change. Employing difference-in-differences estimators and propensity score matching procedures, this study suggests that welfare reform caused a substantial increase in the employment of immigrants. This might imply that restricted access to welfare produced a higher proportion of new immigrants who more actively looked for jobs. Chapter 4 examines some aspects of the labour market outcomes of Muslim immigrants in the United Kingdom after the terrorist attacks. Research found that the terrorist attack of September 11th was associated with a temporary decline in US Arab and Muslim men's weekly earnings and real wages of around 9 to 11 per cent. This has been interpreted as an increase in discrimination against those groups following the attack. However, other evidence shows that in Sweden the terrorist attack did not change Middle East immigrants' job-searching behaviour because of increased discrimination from employers. A possible explanation is that, since September 11th occurred in the US, the reaction against Arab and Muslim men was more severe there than elsewhere, even though nationals from 90 other countries were also killed. Against this background, the purpose of this chapter is to examine the labour market experiences of UK-based Arab and Muslim immigrants. They could have been affected by either September 11" (that killed 67 UK nationals) or the London bombings of 7th July 2005 (that killed 52 UK nationals), or both. The labour market outcomes of UK-based Arab and Muslim immigrants following both September 11th and the London bombings are explored, using the Quarterly UK Labour Force Survey data. Two difference-in-differences models are estimated - one for September 11th, and the other for the London Bombings and the analysis is carried out separately for men and women. The results suggest that, while September 11th had a lesser impact on the labour market outcomes of UK Arab and Muslim women, the London bombings had a statistically significant negative impact. These findings suggest that physical distance does matter for reaction to terrorist attacks.
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