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The Native-Born Occupational Skill Response to Immigration within Education and Experience Cells

Author

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  • Emily Gu

    () (Colgate University)

  • Chad Sparber

    () (Colgate University)

Abstract

Abstract Studies estimating the consequences of immigration on wages paid to native-born workers often reveal small-to-nonexistent effects when using cross city or state variation (the “spatial approach”) but large deleterious effects when using variation across education-by-experience cells (the “national approach”). One mechanism of labor market adjustment emphasized in the spatial approach is that native-born workers respond to immigration by specializing in occupations demanding skills in which they have a comparative advantage, thereby helping to protect themselves from labor market competition and wage losses. This paper examines whether the national approach also identifies this skill response. We find evidence that such a response does occur among workers without college experience. However, regressions using traditional education-by-experience cells do not find skill reallocation consistent with comparative advantage for college-educated natives. This result points to limitations of the education-by-experience cell model.

Suggested Citation

  • Emily Gu & Chad Sparber, 2017. "The Native-Born Occupational Skill Response to Immigration within Education and Experience Cells," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 43(3), pages 426-450, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1057_s41302-016-0011-z
    DOI: 10.1057/s41302-016-0011-z
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    Cited by:

    1. Ted Mouw, 2016. "The Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Native Workers: Evidence using Longitudinal Data from the LEHD," Working Papers 16-56, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; occupational skills;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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

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