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Labor Market Effects of Immigration in the United States and Europe: Substitution vs. Complementarity


  • Gang, Ira N
  • Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L


This paper examines the impact of immigrants on the income of various groups of resident workers in the United States and Europe. Our approach features the use of a production technology incorporating education, experience, and unskilled labor as inputs. This contrasts with the assumption used in earlier studies that native-born and immigrant labor are distinct inputs into production. We find that in both United States and European production, education, unskilled labor and experience are complementary inputs. Based on these results, simulations of the impact of immigration on residents are carried out. The absolute magnitude of these effects is found to be very small.

Suggested Citation

  • Gang, Ira N & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L, 1994. "Labor Market Effects of Immigration in the United States and Europe: Substitution vs. Complementarity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 157-175.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:7:y:1994:i:2:p:157-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francine D. Blau & John W. Graham, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-339.
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    8. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
    9. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, Jr, 2007. "From Dark to Light: Skin Color and Wages Among African-Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    10. Howard Bodenhorn, 2002. "The Complexion Gap: The Economic Consequences of Color among Free African Americans in the Rural Antebellum South," NBER Working Papers 8957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Glenn C. Loury, 1998. "Discrimination in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Beyond Market Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 117-126, Spring.
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