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Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration

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  • Abdurrahman Aydemir
  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

Although economic theory predicts an inverse relation between relativewages and immigration-induced supply shifts, it has been difficultto document such effects. The weak evidence may be partly due to samplingerror in a commonly used measure of the supply shift, the immigrantshare of the workforce. After controlling for permanent factors thatdetermine wages in specific labor markets, little variation remainsin the immigrant share. We find significant sampling error in thismeasure of supply shifts in Canadian and U.S. census data. Correctingfor the resulting attenuation bias can substantially increase existingestimates of the wage impact of immigration. (c) 2011 by The University of Chicago. Allrights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 69-113

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:69-113

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  1. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
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  9. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
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  11. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2005. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 451-477, 07.
  12. Butcher, Kristin F & Card, David, 1991. "Immigration and Wages: Evidence from the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 292-96, May.
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  15. Levi, Maurice D, 1973. "Errors in the Variables Bias in the Presence of Correctly Measured Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 985-86, September.
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