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Migration and Imperfect Labor Markets: Theory and Cross-country Evidence from Denmark, Germany and the UK

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Author Info

  • Herbert Brücker

    ()
    (University of Bamberg, IAB Nürnberg, and IZA Bonn)

  • Elke Jahn

    ()
    (IAB Nürnberg, Arhus University, and IZA Bonn)

  • Richard Upward

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We investigate the labor market effects of immigration in Denmark, Germany and the UK, three countries which are characterized by considerable differences in labor market institutions and welfare states. Institutions such as collective bargaining, minimum wages, employment protection and unemployment benefits affect the way in which wages respond to labor supply shocks, and, hence, the labor market effects of immigration. We employ a wage-setting approach which assumes that wages decline with the unemployment rate, albeit imperfectly. We find that wage flexibility is substantially higher in the UK compared to Germany and, in particular, Denmark. As a consequence, immigration has a much larger effect on the unemployment rate in Germany and Denmark, while the wage effects are larger in the UK. Moreover, the elasticity of substitution between natives and foreign workers is high in the UK and particularly low in Germany. Thus, the preexisting foreign labor force suffers more from further immigration in Germany than in the UK.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2012020.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012020

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Keywords: immigration; unemployment; wages; labor markets; panel data; comparative studies.;

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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
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  4. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2008. "The growth-inequality association: Government ideology matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 300-308, October.
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  6. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
  7. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, 01.
  8. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  9. S. Longhi & P. Nijkamp & J. Poot, 2008. "Meta-Analysis of Empirical Evidence on the Labour Market Impacts of Immigration," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-67, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
  10. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Migration and Wage-Setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Kiel Working Papers 1502, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. 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.
  12. Paul Levine, 1999. "The welfare economics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 23-43.
  13. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Vallizadeh, Ehsan & Muysken, Joan & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2013. "Migration, unemployment and skill downgrading : a specific-factors approach," IAB Discussion Paper 201313, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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