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South-South migration and the labor market: Evidence from South Africa

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  • Facchini, Giovanni
  • Mayda, Anna Maria
  • Mendola, Mariapia

Abstract

Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration to South Africa. The paper contributes to a small but growing literature on the impact of South-South migration by looking at one of the most attractive destinations for migrant workers in Sub--Saharan Africa. We exploit the variation -- both at the district level and at the national one -- in the share of foreign--born male workers across schooling and experience groups over time. At the district level, we estimate that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' employment rates -- and that this effect is more negative for skilled and white South African native workers -- but not on total income. These results are robust to using an instrumental variable estimation strategy. At the national level, we find that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' total income but not on employment rates. Our results are consistent with outflows of natives to other districts as a consequence of migration, as in Borjas (2006).

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9450.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9450

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Keywords: Immigration; Labor market effects; South Africa;

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  1. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  4. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  5. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in the Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 663-708, 06.
  6. Friebel, Guido & Gallego, Juan Miguel & Mendola, Mariapia, 2011. "Xenophobic Attacks, Migration Intentions and Networks: Evidence from the South of Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 5920, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Kasey Buckles & Andreas Hagemann & Ofer Malamud & Melinda S. Morrill & Abigail K. Wozniak, 2013. "The Effect of College Education on Health," NBER Working Papers 19222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gindling, T. H., 2008. "South-South Migration: The Impact of Nicaraguan Immigrants on Earnings, Inequality and Poverty in Costa Rica," IZA Discussion Papers 3279, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Abigail Wozniak, 2010. "Are College Graduates More Responsive to Distant Labor Market Opportunities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 944-970.
  10. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The impact of the 1962 repatriates from Algeria on the French labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 556-572, April.
  11. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
  12. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
  13. Robert E.B. Lucas, 2006. "Migration and Economic Development in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 337-395, December.
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