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Immigration, job vacancies, and employment dynamics: Evidence from Thai manufacturers

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  • Pholphirul, Piriya

Abstract

Do immigrant workers fill in job vacancies and promote employment dynamics? Using Thailand's firm-surveyed data, this paper investigates the challenges experience by firms employing immigrant workers and how immigrants help to fill job vacancies. Descriptive analysis shows that Thai firms do not have much difficulty employing immigrant workers, who come mostly from neighboring countries. Our regressions shows that, by analyzing firm-level characteristics, firms employing immigrant workers tend to be more labor intensive, use computers or other technologies less in production, are recently established, and employ high proportions of low educated workers. Firms having job vacancies in either skilled or unskilled positions and losing production days due to slowdown and stoppage of workers will tend to employ more immigrant workers in order to fill those vacancies and smooth out its production. The impacts of job vacancies on the demand of immigrant workers was found to be stronger among firms located in non-border areas where immigrants tend to move away from bordering provinces to larger provinces where there are better job opportunities. Labor cost concerns, either wage cost or fringe benefit costs, also force firms to employ more migrants in order to maintain their cost competitiveness. By using firm-level panel dataset, firms employing migrant workers in the past seem to realize the benefits from employing more migrants today. The results pose challenges to migration management policies that aim to harmonize the demand for labor in short-term vis-a-vis long-term development.

Suggested Citation

  • Pholphirul, Piriya, 2013. "Immigration, job vacancies, and employment dynamics: Evidence from Thai manufacturers," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:24:y:2013:i:c:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2012.10.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    2. 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.
    3. Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-522, June.
    4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 2, pages 35-80 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 69-134.
    7. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-344, March.
    8. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-724, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piriya Pholphirul, 2012. "Labour Migration and the Economic Sustainability in Thailand," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 31(3), pages 59-83.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Job vacancies; Firm-level characteristics; Thailand;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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