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Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers

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  • Neeraj Kaushal

Abstract

I investigate the effect of the 1997 Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) on employment and earnings of undocumented foreign-born men from Nicaragua, Cuba, Guatemala, and El Salvador who were eligible for amnesty under the Act. I find that NACARA had a modest effect on the employment of these men; raised their real wage by 3 percent and weekly earnings by 4 percent. Estimates show that NACARA raised the wage of the target group without a high school degree by a statistically insignificant 1 percent and of those with high school or higher education by a statistically significant 5 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:41:y:2006:i:3:p631-647
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Magnus Lofstrom & Frank Bean, 2002. "Assessing immigrant policy options: Labor market conditions and postreform declines in immigrants’ receipt of welfare," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 617-637, November.
    2. Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal, 2005. "Immigrant and native responses to welfare reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 69-92, July.
    3. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
    4. Frank Bean & B. Lowell & Lowell Taylor, 1988. "Undocumented Mexican immigrants and the earnings of other workers in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(1), pages 35-52, February.
    5. C. Bansak & S. Raphael, "undated". "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1181-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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