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Immigrants in the U.S. labor market

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  • Pia M. Orrenius
  • Madeline Zavodny

Abstract

Immigrants supply skills that are in relatively short supply in the U.S. labor market and account for almost half of labor force growth since the mid-1990s. Migrant inflows have been concentrated at the low and high ends of the skill distribution. Large-scale unauthorized immigration has fueled growth of the low-skill labor force, which has had modest adverse fiscal and labor market effects on taxpayers and U.S.-born workers. High-skilled immigration has been beneficial in most every way, fueling innovation and spurring entrepreneurship in the high tech sector. Highly skilled immigrants have had a positive fiscal impact, contributing more in tax payments than they use in public services. Immigration reform appears to be on the horizon, and policies such as a legalization initiative, a guest-worker program and more permanent visas for high-skilled workers would likely be an improvement over the status quo.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 1306.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1306

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Keywords: Business cycles ; Minorities - Employment ; Public policy;

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  1. William Kerr & William Lincoln, 2010. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp978, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2010. "From brawn to brains: how immigration works for America," Annual Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004. "The New Immigrant Survey Pilot (NIS-P): Overview and New Findings about U.S. Legal Immigrants at Admission," Labor and Demography 0403002, EconWPA.
  5. Brian C. Cadena, 2013. "Native Competition and Low-Skilled Immigrant Inflows," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 910-944.
  6. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
  7. Ying Pan, . "Gains from Legality´╝Ü Parents Immigration Status and Children's Scholastic Achievement," Departmental Working Papers 2011-05, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  8. David Card & John E. DiNardo, 2002. "Skill Biased Technological Change and Rising Wage Inequality: Some Problems and Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hunt, Jennifer, 2010. "Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa," IZA Discussion Papers 4745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Lunde, Trine & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2009. "Social networks among indigenous peoples in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4949, The World Bank.

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