UCL Department of Economics


Tanya Surovtseva

Tanya Surovtseva



Tanya Surovtseva - Website

Research interests

Primary: Labour Economics, Economics of Immigration
Secondary: Applied Microeconomics

Paper title - "Why Do Immigrants Work for Less? The Role of Regional Price Differences"

Abstract - This paper proposes geographic real price differences as one possible explanation for immigrants accepting lower wages for the same work than natives. If one unit of earnings buys more when spent in the home country than in the host country, and if immigrants spend some of their earnings at home, their effective real wage derived from a given pay will be higher than that of natives. Hence, the larger is the price gap between the host and source countries, the lower is the reservation wage of immigrants. We formalize this idea in a simple theoretical framework, and study its empirical implications based on longitudinal administrative data that allows us to observe immigrants’ first labor market spell as well as their subsequent career trajectories. Our empirical analysis establishes strong evidence that immigrants settle for lower paying jobs upon arrival when the real exchange rate is high but adjust rapidly to wages of those who arrive at low exchange rates, mainly through occupational upgrading.



  • Christian Dustmann
  • Uta Schoenberg
  • Libertad Gonzalez