IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Effects of Immigration on Wages: An Application of the Structural Skill-Cell Approach

  • Michael Gerfin
  • Boris Kaiser

This paper investigates how recent immigration inflows from 2002 to 2008 have affected wages in Switzerland. This period is of particular interest as it marks the time during which the bilateral agreement with the EU on the free crossborder movement of workers has been effective. Since different types of workers are likely to be unevenly affected by recent immigration inflows, we follow the "structural skill-cell approach" as for example employed by Borjas (2003) and Ottaviano and Peri (2008). This paper provides two main contributions. First, we estimate empirically the elasticities of substitution between different types of workers in Switzerland. Our results suggest that natives and immigrants are imperfect substitutes. Regarding different skill levels, the estimates indicate that workers are imperfect substitutes across broad education groups and across different experience groups. Second, the estimated elasticities of substitution are used to simulate the impact on domestic wages using the actual immigration inflows from 2002 to 2008. For the long run, the simulations produce some notable distributional consequences across different types of workers: While previous immigrants incur wage losses (-1.6%), native workers are not negatively affected on average (+0.4%). In the short run, immigration has a negative macroeconomic effect on the average wage, which, however, gradually dies out in the process of capital adjustment.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2010-IV-5.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 146 (2010)
Issue (Month): IV (December)
Pages: 709-739

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2010-iv-5
Contact details of provider: Postal:
c/o SNB/BNS, Börsenstrasse 15, PO Box 2800, CH-8022 Zürich

Phone: +41 (0)44 631 32 34
Fax: +41 (0)44 631 39 01
Web page: http://www.sjes.ch
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Francesco D’Amuri & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "The Labor Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990’s," Working Papers 2008.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0608, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Geis, Wido & Kohler, Wilhelm K., 2010. "Restrictive immigration policy in Germany: Pains and gains foregone?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20616, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Kieran McQuinn & Karl Whelan, 2007. "Conditional convergence and the dynamics of the capital-output ratio," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 159-184, June.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 2001. "Human Capital and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 12-17, May.
  6. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
  8. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The effects of immigration on US wages and rents: a general equilibrium approach," Chapters, in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 3, pages 107-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
  12. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
  14. Caselli, Francesco & Esquivel, Gerardo & Lefort, Fernando, 1996. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 363-89, September.
  15. Bodvarsson, Örn B. & Lewer, Joshua J. & Van den Berg, Hendrik, 2007. "Measuring Immigration's Effects on Labor Demand: A Reexamination of the Mariel Boatlift," IZA Discussion Papers 2919, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. De New, John P & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1994. "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labor: A Random Effects Panel Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 177-92.
  17. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Nazrul Islam, 2003. "What have We Learnt from the Convergence Debate?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 309-362, 07.
  20. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  21. LaLonde, Robert J & Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 297-302, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Johannes Velling, 1997. "Employment Effects Of Immigration To Germany: An Analysis Based On Local Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 594-604, November.
  24. Brücker, Herbert & Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Migration and the Wage Curve: A Structural Approach to Measure the Wage and Employment Effects of Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 3423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Michael Gerfin & Boris Kaiser, 2010. "The Effects of Immigration on Wages: An Application of the Structural Skill-Cell Approach," Diskussionsschriften dp1012, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  26. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Klaus F. Zimmermann, . "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labor," Working Papers 9408, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2010-iv-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Steiner)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.