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Do immigrant workers depress the wages of native workers?

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  • Giovanni Peri

    (University of California, Davis, USA, and IZA, Germany)

Abstract

Politicians, the media, and the public express concern that immigrants depress wages by competing with native workers, but 30 years of empirical research provide little supporting evidence to this claim. Most studies for industrialized countries have found no effect on wages, on average, and only modest effects on wage differentials between more and less educated immigrant and native workers. Native workers’ wages have been insulated by differences in skills, adjustments in local demand and technology, production expansion, and specialization of native workers as immigration rises.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Peri, 2014. "Do immigrant workers depress the wages of native workers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-42, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izawol:journl:y:2014:n:42
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 9, pages 245-290, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408.
    3. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2005. "A Meta‐Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 451-477, July.
    5. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2012. "Immigration and the Distribution of Incomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6921, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
    7. Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The Effect Of Immigration On Productivity: Evidence From U.S. States," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 8, pages 265-275, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Francesco D'Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Immigration, Jobs, And Employment Protection: Evidence From Europe Before And During The Great Recession," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 5, pages 153-185, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 7, pages 187-222, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; wages; productivity; complementarity; skills; wage distribution; dynamic adjustments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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