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


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


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.

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  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 179-208, May.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:282-315 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Xie, Bin, 2017. "The Effects of Immigration Quotas on Wages, the Great Black Migration, and Industrial Development," IZA Discussion Papers 11214, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2012. "Can Compulsory Military Service Raise Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 57-93, October.
    5. Evren Ceritoglu & H. Burcu Gurcihan Yunculer & Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2017. "The impact of Syrian refugees on natives’ labor market outcomes in Turkey: evidence from a quasi-experimental design," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, December.
    6. Bodvarsson, Örn B. & Van den Berg, Hendrik F. & Lewer, Joshua J., 2008. "Measuring immigration's effects on labor demand: A reexamination of the Mariel Boatlift," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 560-574, August.
    7. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005851, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    8. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso, 2011. "Can Compulsory Military Service Increase Civilian Wages? Evidence from the Peacetime Draft in Portugal," NBER Working Papers 17694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kugler, Adriana & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2008. "Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch," IZA Discussion Papers 3670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:240-263 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lewis, Ethan & Peri, Giovanni, 2015. "Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    12. Addison, John T. & Portugal, Pedro & Varejão, José, 2014. "Labor demand research: Toward a better match between better theory and better data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 4-11.
    13. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2011. "The dynamic impact of immigration on natives' labor market outcomes: Evidence from Israel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1027-1045.
    14. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Kırdar, Murat G., 2017. "Quasi-experimental impact estimates of immigrant labor supply shocks: The role of treatment and comparison group matching and relative skill composition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 282-315.
    15. Uri Dadush & Mona Niebuhr, 2016. "The Economic Impact of Forced Migration," Research papers & Policy papers 1605, OCP Policy Center.
    16. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2015. "Do immigrants improve the health of natives?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 140-153.
    17. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "People Flows in Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-170, Spring.
    18. Braakmann Nils & Wildman John & Waqas Muhammad, 2017. "Are Immigrants in Favour of Immigration? Evidence from England and Wales," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, February.
    19. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2009. "Regional Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Review," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-047/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 23 Jul 2009.
    20. Morin, Louis-Philippe, 2015. "Cohort size and youth earnings: Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 99-111.
    21. Peri, Giovanni & Yasenov, Vasil, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Synthetic Control Method Meets the Mariel Boatlift," IZA Discussion Papers 10605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Hatton, Timothy J., 2014. "The economics of international migration: A short history of the debate," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 43-50.
    23. Bjørndal, Trond & Lappo, Alena & Ramos, Jorge, 2015. "An economic analysis of the Portuguese fisheries sector 1960–2011," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 21-30.
    24. Chletsos, Michael & Roupakias, Stelios, 2016. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives in the Greek Labour Market? Evidence from the Skill-Cell Approach Before and During the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 75659, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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