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The Effect of Legalization on Wages and Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Agricultural Workers Survey


  • Amy M. G. Kandilov
  • Ivan T. Kandilov


We estimate the effect of legalization on the wages and benefits of foreign-born agricultural workers. Using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, we employ propensity score matching techniques to compare legal permanent residents in the United States with an appropriate control group of undocumented workers. Consistent with previous findings, we show that becoming a legal permanent resident results in a modest wage gain of about 5%. Further, we provide novel evidence that, in addition to higher wages, legalization leads to a significantly higher likelihood of receiving some other form of compensation, such as employer-sponsored health insurance or a monetary bonus. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy M. G. Kandilov & Ivan T. Kandilov, 2010. "The Effect of Legalization on Wages and Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Agricultural Workers Survey," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 604-623.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:32:y:2010:i:4:p:604-623

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    Cited by:

    1. Ifft, Jennifer & Jodlowski, Margaret, 2016. "Is ICE Freezing US Agriculture? The Impact of Local Immigration Enforcement on Farm Profitability and Structure," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235950, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Lofstrom, Magnus & Hill, Laura E. & Hayes, Joseph, 2010. "Did Employer Sanctions Lose Their Bite? Labor Market Effects of Immigrant Legalization," IZA Discussion Papers 4972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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