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Complements or Substitutes? Immigrant and Native Task Specialization in Spain

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  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

    ()
    (San Diego State University, IZA)

  • Sara de la Rica

    ()
    (Universidad del Pais Vasco, FEDEA, IZA)

Abstract

Learning about the impact that immigration has on the labor market of the receiving nation is a topic of major concern, particularly in Spain, where immigration has more than doubled from 4 percent to roughly 10 percent of the population within a decade. Yet, very little is known about the impact that large immigrant inflows have had on the labor market outcomes of Spanish natives. Furthermore, most studies assume that natives and immigrants are perfect substitutes within skill groups -a questionable assumption given recent findings in the literature. In this paper, we first document that foreign-born workers are not perfect substitutes of similarly skilled native Spanish workers, which may help explain why immigration has not significantly lowered natives' wages. Instead, immigration has affected the occupational distribution of natives. Specifically, owing to the comparative advantage of foreign-born workers in manual as opposed to interactive tasks, natives relocated to occupations with a lower content of manual tasks -such as technical and alike professional occupations, clerical support jobs, and sales and service occupations. Yet, possibly owing to the significant and simultaneous reduction in the manual to interactive task supply resulting from the increase in the share of native female workers, the increase in the relative supply of manual to interactive tasks from foreign-born workers does not appear to have significantly changed the overall manual to interactive task supply in the Spanish economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0816.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0816

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  1. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," Working Papers 2006.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
  5. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2008. "Does Immigration Raise Natives’ Income? National and Regional Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2008-17, FEDEA.
  6. Raquel Carrasco & Juan Jimeno & A. Ortega, 2008. "The effect of immigration on the labor market performance of native-born workers: some evidence for Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 627-648, July.
  7. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  8. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  9. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
  10. David Card & Ethan Lewis, 2005. "The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0504, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. Libertad González & Francesc Ortega, 2008. "How Do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions," Economic Reports 06-08, FEDEA.
  12. David Card, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. Ethan Lewis, 2003. "Local, open economies within the U.S.: how do industries respond to immigration?," Working Papers 04-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
  15. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  17. George J. Borjas, 2005. "The Labor-Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 56-60, May.
  18. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  19. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  20. Furtado, Delia & Hock, Heinrich, 2008. "Immigrant Labor, Child-Care Services, and the Work-Fertility Trade-Off in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3506, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Libertad Gonzalez & Francesc Ortega, 2013. "Immigration And Housing Booms: Evidence From Spain," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 37-59, 02.
  2. González, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Evidence from Spanish regions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-70, January.
  3. Lídia Farré & Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2009. "Immigration, family responsibilities and the labor supply of skilled native women," Economics Working Papers 1161, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Pablo Swedberg, 2010. "The impact of education and host language skills on the labor market outcomes of immigrants in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Greg (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 41, pages 798-824 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  5. Francesca Mazzolari & David Neumark, 2009. "Immigration and Product Diversity," NBER Working Papers 14900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nicodemo, Catia & Nicolini, Rosella, 2012. "Random or Referral Hiring: When Social Connections Matter," IZA Discussion Papers 6312, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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