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The Effect Of Immigration On Productivity: Evidence From U.S. States

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  • Giovanni Peri

    (University of California, Davis, and NBER)

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the long-run impact of immigration on employment, productivity, and its skill bias. We use the existence of immigrant communities across U.S. states before 1960 and the distance from the Mexican border as instruments for immigration flows. We find no evidence that immigrants crowded out employment. At the same time, we find that immigration had a strong, positive association with total factor productivity and a negative association with the high skill bias of production technologies. The results are consistent with the idea that immigrants promoted efficient task specialization, thus increasing TFP, and also promoted the adoption of unskilled-efficient technologies. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect Of Immigration On Productivity: Evidence From U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 348-358, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:348-358
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    1. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    2. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2010. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 31-56, April.
    4. 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.
    5. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 1-21, May.
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    7. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    8. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Long-Run Substitutability Between More and Less Educated Workers: Evidence from U.S. States, 1950-1990," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 652-663, November.
    9. Borjas, George J. (ed.), 2007. "Mexican Immigration to the United States," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226066325.
    10. Daron Acemoglu, 1998. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1055-1089.
    11. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    12. Gasper A. Garofalo & Steven Yamarik, 2002. "Regional Convergence: Evidence From A New State-By-State Capital Stock Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 316-323, May.
    13. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Directed Technical Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809.
    14. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
    15. George J. Borjas, 2007. "Mexican Immigration to the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj06-1, June.
    16. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique," Working Papers 05-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    17. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    18. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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