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Safety at work and immigration

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Bellés-Obrero

    (University of Mannheim
    CRES-UPF)

  • Nicolau Martin Bassols

    (CRES-UPF
    Monash University)

  • Judit Vall Castello

    (CRES-UPF
    Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of immigration on workplace safety, an understudied outcome in the literature. We use a novel administrative dataset of the universe of workplace accidents reported in Spain from 2003 to 2015 and follow an instrumental variables (IV) strategy based on the distribution of early migrants across provinces. Our results show that the massive inflow of immigrants between 2003 and 2009 reduced the number of workplace accidents by 10,980 for native workers (7% of the overall reduction during that period). This decline in workplace accidents is driven by Spanish-born workers shifting away from manual occupations to occupations involving more interpersonal interactions. Immigrant flows during the economic crisis (2010–2015) had no impact on natives’ workplace safety. The scarcity of jobs during that period may have prevented shifts between occupations. Finally, we find no effects of immigration on the workplace safety of immigrants. These results add a previously unexplored dimension to the immigration debate that should be taken into account when evaluating the costs and benefits of migration flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Bellés-Obrero & Nicolau Martin Bassols & Judit Vall Castello, 2021. "Safety at work and immigration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 167-221, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:34:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00791-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00791-5
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 23rd November 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-11-23 12:00:14

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    Cited by:

    1. Sparber, Chad & Zavodny, Madeline, 2020. "Immigration, Working Conditions, and Compensating Differentials," IZA Discussion Papers 13663, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Workplace accidents; Safety at work;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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