The Earnings of Immigrants in Ireland: Results from the 2005 EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions

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This paper has three objectives. First, a review of the developing body of work on the economics of immigration in Ireland is provided. Second, the analysis undertaken by Barrett and McCarthy (2007) of earnings of immigrants in Ireland is updated. Third, the earnings of immigrant women are assessed to see if they experience a “double disadvantage”.

Among other findings, the review of the emerging literature points to immigrants faring less well in the Irish labour market relative to native employees. As regards the analysis conducted in this paper, we find that immigrants were earning 15 per cent less than comparable Irish employees in 2005. For immigrants from non-English speaking countries, the wage disadvantage was 20 per cent. The corresponding figure for immigrants from the EU’s New Member States was 32 per cent. A double disadvantage is found for immigrant women. By this we mean that the analysis shows (a) women (immigrants plus natives) earn 12 per cent less than comparable men (again, immigrants plus natives) and (b) female immigrants earn 14 per cent less than comparable native female employees. This double disadvantage is concentrated among female immigrants with third level degrees.

Author(s):Alan Barrett (ESRI) and Yvonne McCarthy (Central Bank)
Publisher:Economic and Social Research Institute
Publication Date:20 Dec 2007
Geographic Focus:Ireland
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