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The Labour Market Characteristics and Labour Market Impacts of Immigrants in Ireland

  • Alan Barrett

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Adele Bergin

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • David Duffy

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

The purpose of this paper is twofold. We first produce a labour market profile of non- Irish immigrants who arrived in Ireland in the ten years to 2003. We then go on to use the labour market profile in estimating the impact of immigration (non-Irish) on the Irish labour market. Immigrants are shown to be a highly educated group. However, they are not all employed in occupations that fully reflect their education levels. The model of the labour market that we use to simulate the impact of immigration differentiates between low-skilled and high-skilled labour. This allows us to estimate the impact of immigrants (a) if they were employed at a level fitting their education and (b) if they were employed in occupations below their educational level. Our results show that under scenario (a) immigrants who arrived between 1993 and 2003 increased GNP by between 3.5 and 3.7 per cent, largely by lowering skilled wages by around 6 per cent and increasing Ireland’s competitiveness. Under scenario (b), the increase in GNP is reduced to 3 per cent because the impact on skilled wages is lower. If we assume that immigration is primarily unskilled, the impact on earnings inequality found under (a) and (b) is reversed.

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Article provided by Economic and Social Studies in its journal Economic and Social Review.

Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:37:y:2006:i:1:p:1-26
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  1. Barrett, Alan & FitzGerald, John & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Earnings inequality, returns to education and immigration into Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 665-680, November.
  2. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2003. "Immigrant Job Search In The Uk:Evidence From Panel Data," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-2, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, August.
  6. FitzGerald, John & Bergin, Adele & Kearney, Ide & Barrett, Alan & Duffy, David & Garrett, Shane & McCarthy, Yvonne, 2005. "Medium-Term Review 2005-2012, No. 10," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number MTR10, December.
  7. Wheatley Price, Stephen & Michael A Shields, 2003. "Immigrant Job Search in the UK," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 220, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Eckstein, Zvi & Weiss, Yoram, 2003. "On the Wage Growth of Immigrants: Israel, 1990-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 3770, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. John FitzGerald & Ide Kearney, 2000. "Convergence in Living Standards in Ireland: The Role of the New Economy," Papers WP134, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  10. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1991. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Less-skilled Natives," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 201-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bradley, John & Fitz Gerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 1993. "Modelling supply in an open economy using a restricted cost function," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 11-21, January.
  12. Rachel M. Friedberg, 1996. "You Can't Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 5837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Adele Bergin & Ide Kearney, 2004. "Human Capital, The Labour Market and Productivity Growth in Ireland," Papers WP158, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  14. repec:esr:forcas:mtr09 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Bradley, John & Fitzgerald, John, 1988. "Industrial output and factor input determination in an econometric model of a small open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1227-1241, July.
  16. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
  17. Bergin, Adele & Cullen, Joe & Duffy, David & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide & McCoy, Daniel, 2003. "Medium-Term Review 2003-2010, No. 9," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number MTR09, December.
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