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

  • Pholphirul, Piriya

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Asian Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-16

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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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  1. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. 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 507-22, June.
  3. Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Working Papers 2008.77, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. 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 333-44, March.
  5. Abraham, Katharine G, 1983. "Structural-Frictional vs. Deficient Demand Unemployment: Some New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 708-24, September.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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