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The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages

  • Christian Dustmann
  • Tommaso Frattini
  • Ian P. Preston

This paper analyses the effect immigration has on the wages of native workers. Unlike most previous work, we estimate wage effects along the distribution of native wages. We derive a flexible empirical strategy that does not rely on pre-allocating immigrants to particular skill groups. In our empirical analysis, we demonstrate that immigrants downgrade considerably upon arrival. As for the effects on native wages, we find a pattern of effects whereby immigration depresses wages below the 20th percentile of the wage distribution but leads to slight wage increases in the upper part of the wage distribution. This pattern mirrors the evidence on the location of immigrants in the wage distribution. We suggest that possible explanations for the overall slightly positive effect on native wages, besides standard immigration surplus arguments, could involve deviations of immigrant remuneration from contribution to production either because of initial mismatch or immigrant downgrading. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 80 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 145-173

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:1:p:145-173
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  1. Manacorda, Marco & Manning, Alan & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 2352, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  3. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique," Working Papers 05-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  7. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
  11. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2007. "The Effects of Immigration on U.S. Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0713, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  12. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the British Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F324-F341, November.
  13. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  14. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  15. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ethan Lewis, 2003. "Local, open economies within the U.S.: how do industries respond to immigration?," Working Papers 04-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Patricia Cort�s & Jos� Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
  18. David Card, 2007. "How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0711, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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