The Impact of Age at Arrival on Highly Skilled Immigrant Earnings

Yuying Tong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Using integrated data from the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT), this paper investigates whether age at arrival affects immigrant scientists and engineer’s earnings. Highly skilled immigrants are divided into four groups: arrival before 18 years old, arrival between 18 and 22, arrival between 23 and 28 and arrival after 28 years old. Using generalized estimating equation (GEE), their earnings and earnings growth are examined for a full sample and male and female subsamples. The analysis shows that all age groups have significantly better earning outcomes than those who came after the age of 28 after controlling for the citizenship status, place of education and countries of origins, showing the potential impact of acculturation. However, among all the immigrant scientists and engineers, those who arrived between ages 18-22 have the best relative earning outcome to those who arrived older than 28 years old, indicating a selectivity impact on age upon migration.

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Presented in Poster Session 1