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The Fallacy of “Job Robbing”: A Meta-Analysis of Estimates of the Effect of Immigration on Employment

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  • Simonetta Longhi

    ()
    (University of Essex)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Jacques Poot

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Immigration is a phenomenon of growing significance in many countries. Increasing social tensions are leading to political pressure to limit a further influx of foreign-born persons on the grounds that the absorption capacity of host countries has been exceeded and social cohesion threatened. There is also in public discourse a common perception of immigration resulting in economic costs, particularly with respect to wages and employment opportunities of the native born. This warrants a scientific assessment, using comparative applied research, of the empirical validity of the perception of a negative impact of immigration on labour market outcomes. Applying meta-analytic techniques to 165 estimates from 9 recent studies for various OECD countries, we assess in this paper whether immigration leads to job displacement among native workers. The ‘consensus estimate’ of the decline in native-born employment following a 1 percent increase in the number of immigrants is a mere 0.024 percent. However, the impact is somewhat larger on female than on male employment. The negative employment effect is also greater in Europe than in the United States. Furthermore, the results are sensitive to the choice of the study design. For example, failure to control for endogeneity of immigration itself leads to an underestimate of its employment impact.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-050/3.

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Date of creation: 22 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20060050

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: Immigration; Employment; Meta-Analysis;

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References

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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," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  2. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2001. "Protective or counter-productive? Labor market institutions and the effect of immigration on EU natives," Economics Working Papers 587, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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  9. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
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  14. Jacques Poot, 2005. "Measuring the Economic Impact of Immigration: A Scoping Paper," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-48, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gerdes, Christer & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2008. "The Impact of Immigration on Election Outcomes in Danish Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 3586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jacques Poot & Anna Strutt, 2010. "International Trade Agreements and International Migration," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(12), pages 1923-1954, December.
  3. de la Rica, Sara & Glitz, Albrecht & Ortega, Francesc, 2013. "Immigration in Europe: Trends, Policies and Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. S. Longhi & P. Nijkamp & J. Poot, 2010. "Joint impacts of immigration on wages and employment: review and meta-analysis," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 355-387, December.
  5. E. J. Wilson & K. Jayanthakumaran & R. Verma, 2012. "Demographics, Labor Mobility, and Productivity," Labor Economics Working Papers 23348, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  6. Torben Schmidt & Peter Jensen, 2013. "Foreign labor and regional labor markets: aggregate and disaggregate impact on growth and wages in Danish regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 809-840, June.
  7. Longhi, Simonetta & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2008. "Meta-Analysis of Empirical Evidence on the Labour Market Impacts of Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3418, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Gabriele Tondl & Peter Huber, 2011. "Migration and Regional Convergence in the European Union," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1761, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Ángel Melguizo & José González-Páramo, 2013. "Who bears labour taxes and social contributions? A meta-analysis approach," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 247-271, August.
  10. LSE Enterprise, 2011. "Study on the impact of the single market on cohesion: implications for cohesion policy, growth and competitiveness," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42840, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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