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The Impact of Immigrant Gender on International Trade: An Empirical Assessment

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  • Harry P. Bowen

    ()
    (McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte)

  • Jennifer Wu

    ()
    (Berlin School of Economics)

Abstract

Studies routinely document that the nature of immigrant employment is largely specific: it often concentrates in non-traded goods sectors and many immigrants, particularly females, often have low inter-sectoral mobility. We consider these employment and gender related characteristics of immigrants for the question of how immigration affects a nation’s pattern of production and trade. Based on a model in which immigrant gender influences the nature and likely sector of employment, we postulate that the higher is the proportion of immigrants who are female the more likely that immigration and trade will be complements. Empirical investigation of the relationship between migrant gender and the production of traded and non-traded goods in a panel dataset of OECD countries supports the conjecture that female immigration and trade are complements whereas male immigration and trade are substitutes. This difference arises because employment of female immigrants is more likely to be concentrated in non-traded goods sectors and females are likely to have lower inter-sectoral mobility relative to male immigrants. We discuss the implications of these empirical findings for immigration policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2013-01.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:msb:wpaper:2013-01

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Web page: http://mccoll.queens.edu/
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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. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Kohler, Wilhelm K., 2007. "Immigration and native welfare," Munich Reprints in Economics 20608, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Christian Dustmann & Tim Hatton & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Labour Market Effects of Immigration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F297-F299, November.
  4. 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.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  6. Philip L. Martin & Mark J. Miller, 1980. "Guestworkers: Lessons from Western Europe," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(3), pages 315-330, April.
  7. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
  8. Gould, David M, 1994. "Immigrant Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for U.S. Bilateral Trade Flows," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 302-16, May.
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