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Labor market impacts of states issuing of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants

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  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina
  • Arenas-Arroyo, Esther
  • Sevilla, Almudena

Abstract

Over the last years several states have enacted policies granting undocumented immigrants access to driver's licenses. We exploit the state and temporal variation in the issuing of state driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants to estimate their impact on labor market outcomes. Using 2005 through 2017 data from the American Community Survey, we show that likely undocumented men increase their weekly hours of work in response to the availability of driver's licenses. Perhaps due to their already high labor force participation, the impact is somewhat moderate. We also find no similar impacts among similarly skilled foreign-born Hispanic men who have naturalized. The policy slightly raises commuting time, suggesting changes in work patterns, as well as likely undocumented immigrants’ propensity to have an occupation that requires driving. At a time when anti-immigrant sentiments are at an all-time high, understanding how these policies impact targeted groups and similarly skilled citizens is crucial for maintaining an informed immigration policy debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Arenas-Arroyo, Esther & Sevilla, Almudena, 2020. "Labor market impacts of states issuing of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:63:y:2020:i:c:s0927537120300117
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101805
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    Cited by:

    1. Catalina Amuedo‐Dorantes & Francisca M. Antman, 2022. "De facto immigration enforcement, ICE raid awareness, and worker engagement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(1), pages 373-391, January.
    2. Hans Lueders & Micah Mumper, 2022. "Driving while unauthorized: Auto insurance remains unchanged when providing driver licenses to unauthorized immigrants in California," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 89(3), pages 669-696, September.
    3. Claudio Deiana & Ludovica Giua & Roberto Nisticò, 2021. "Getting Off on the Wrong Foot: The Long-Term Effects of Missing a Large-Scale Amnesty for Immigrant Workers," CSEF Working Papers 625, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. Jennifer Scott & Joanna Mhairi Hale & Yolanda C. Padilla, 2021. "Immigration Status and Farmwork: Understanding the Wage and Income Gap Across U.S. Policy and Economic Eras, 1989–2016," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 40(5), pages 861-893, October.
    5. Cho, Heepyung, 2022. "Driver’s license reforms and job accessibility among undocumented immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    6. Deiana, Claudio & Giua, Ludovica & Nistico, Roberto, 2022. "Legalization and Long-Term Outcomes of Immigrant Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 15189, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Gunadi, Christian, 2022. "The Fertility Effect of Laws Granting Undocumented Migrants Access to Driving Licenses in the United States," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1094, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Otsu, Yuki, 2021. "Sanctuary cities and crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 600-615.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Driver's licenses; Undocumented immigrants; Labor market impacts; United States;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law

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