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The Impact of 1970s Repatriates from Africa on the Portuguese Labor Market

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  • William J. Carrington
  • Pedro J. F. De Lima

Abstract

This paper examines the labor market effect of the retornados who immigrated to Portugal from Angola and Mozambique in the mid-1970s following Portugal's loss of its African colonies. The retornados increased the Portuguese labor force by roughly 10% in just three years. Two analyses suggest contrasting conclusions. First, comparisons of Portugal with Spain and France indicate that any adverse effect of the retornados was quantitatively swamped by the Europe-wide downturn in labor market conditions in the 1970s. Second, comparisons between districts within Portugal indicate that the retornados may have had a strong adverse effect on Portuguese wages, suggesting that immigration may be considerably more harmful than previous case studies have concluded. The authors, however, regard the results of the within-Portugal analysis as less reliable than those of the comparison across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Carrington & Pedro J. F. De Lima, 1996. "The Impact of 1970s Repatriates from Africa on the Portuguese Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(2), pages 330-347, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:49:y:1996:i:2:p:330-347
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