The Role of Firms in the Assimilation of Immigrants

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


This project studies the role of firms in immigrants' labor market assimilation. We do so in the context of a large and sudden international migration shock: the arrival of nearly one million former Soviet Union (FSU) Jews to Israel in the 1990s. We use newly available Israeli population employer-employee data with information on workers' migrant status and migration year; in doing this, we are the first to study a large migration shock equipped with administrative employer-employee matched data that allows identifying migrants and natives. Our goal is to understand how a large wave of migrants sorts into new vs. existing firms, the between-firm employment segregation of migrants and its evolution over time, how much of the migrant-native earnings gap and subsequent catch-up is explained by firm-specific pay premiums, and the assimilation of immigrants not only in terms of earnings but also in terms of their employers’ characteristics.