March 2010

No. 4823: Wages and Immigrant Occupational Composition in Sweden

Jörgen Hansen, Roger Wahlberg, Sharif Faisal

This paper examines the relationship between immigrant occupational composition and wages in Sweden. Effects of changes in proportion of immigrant workers in different occupations on the wage levels of both natives and immigrants are estimated. Our results suggest that increases in immigrant density have only small effects on wages and that the negative relationship between wages and the proportion of immigrant workers in an occupation, observed in data, is almost entirely accounted for by measured and unmeasured worker skills. These results suggest that wage differences across occupations with different densities of immigrants are mainly due to quality sorting and to a lesser extent due to the existence of discrimination.