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Immigrants, Productivity, and Labor Markets

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  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

Immigration has been a steady force acting on population and employment within countries throughout human history. Focusing on the last four decades, we show that the mix of immigrants to rich countries has been, overall, rather balanced between college and non-college educated. The growth of immigration has been driven by immigrants from nonrich countries. The economic impact of immigration on receiving economies needs to be understood by analyzing the specific skills brought by immigrants. The complementarity and substitutability between immigrants and natives in employment, and the response of receiving economies in terms of specialization and technological choices, are important when considering the general equilibrium effects of immigration. In the United States, a balanced composition of immigrants between college and noncollege educated, together with the adjustment of demand and technology, imply that general equilibrium effects on relative and absolute wages have been small.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Immigrants, Productivity, and Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 3-30, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:3-30
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.4.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Philipp Ager & Casper Worm Hansen, 2016. "National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 16-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    2. TOMIURA Eiichi & ITO Banri & MUKUNOKI Hiroshi & WAKASUGI Ryuhei, 2017. "Individual Characteristics, Behavioral Biases, and Attitudes toward Immigration: Evidence from a survey in Japan," Discussion papers 17033, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa, 2017. "Decomposing the impact of immigration on house prices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86571, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," EconPol Policy Reports 5, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    5. Peri, Giovanni & Yasenov, Vasil, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Synthetic Control Method Meets the Mariel Boatlift," IZA Discussion Papers 10605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio & Nicodemo, Catia & Vargas-Silva, Carlos, 2018. "Immigration and the Reallocation of Work Health Risks," GLO Discussion Paper Series 215, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Martin Kahanec & Mariola Pytliková, 2017. "The economic impact of east–west migration on the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 407-434, August.
    8. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," EconPol Policy Reports 5, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    9. d'Artis Kancs & Patrizio Lecca, 2016. "Long-term social, economic and fiscal effects of immigration into the EU: The role of the integration policy," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2016/08, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    10. Stefan Seifert & Marica Valente, 2018. "An Offer that you Can't Refuse? Agrimafias and Migrant Labor on Vineyards in Southern Italy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1735, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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