Pay gap between foreign-born and native-born doctors in the United States
Doctors, earnings, foreign-born, high-skill immigration, wage-gap
Foreign-born doctors are an integral part of the U.S. labour market for doctors. About 29% of physicians, 24% of dentists, 16% of optometrists and 11% of podiatrists are not born in the United States. This study investigates whether, on average, there is a difference between the earnings of foreign-born doctors and their native-born counterparts, all else equal. The American Community Survey Data from 2006 to 2017 and two measures of doctors’ earnings: wage (and salary) income and total income (includes wages/salaries, business, investment income, etc.) are used. The results indicate that all else constant, all foreign-born doctors earn significantly (p < 0.01) less wage than native-born doctors for the first 5 years of their stay in the U.S. The wage gap decreases with their length of stay in the U.S. After 10 years of stay, foreign-born male doctors start to earn significantly more than their native-born counterparts (p < 0.05). However, when total income is considered, all foreign-born doctors earn significantly (p < 0.01) less than their native-born counterparts for up to 20 years of stay in the U.S. The magnitude of the total income gap is larger than that of the wage gap. All results remain robust even after ability is controlled for.
Department of Economics
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Amin, Shahina and Uyar, Bulent, "Pay gap between foreign-born and native-born doctors in the United States" (2021). Faculty Publications. 214.