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The Employment and Wage Effects of Immigration: Trade and Labour Economics Perspectives

In: Trade, Investment, Migration and Labour Market Adjustment


  • Noel Gaston

    (Bond University)

  • Doug Nelson

    (Tulane University
    University of Nottingham)


We may not be living in the age of mass migration, but we are surely living in an age of mass migration.1 From 1965 through 1990 a fairly constant 2.2 per cent of the world population have been migrants.2 However, this has involved an increasing rate of change to keep pace with the growing world population: the stock of migrants grew at 1.2 per cent from 1965 to 1975; 2.2 per cent from 1975 to 1985; and 2.6 per cent from 1985 to 1990. More importantly, for the purposes of this chapter, relative to regional population the share of migrants in the US and Canada rose from 6 per cent in 1965 to 8.6 per cent in 1990 (with the greatest growth in the 1980s and 1990s) while the share in Western Europe rose from 3.6 to 6.1 per cent over the same period. This period has also seen a substantial shift toward developing countries as source countries for this migration: in the United States this share rose from 42 per cent in 1960-64 to over 80 per cent in the 1980s and 1990s; in Canada this share rose from 12 to over 70 per cent, while this share in Australia rose from 7 to over 70 per cent. In the 1990s, Germany and Austria experienced very large flows from Eastern Europe as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Noel Gaston & Doug Nelson, 2002. "The Employment and Wage Effects of Immigration: Trade and Labour Economics Perspectives," International Economic Association Series, in: David Greenaway & Richard Upward & Katharine Wakelin (ed.), Trade, Investment, Migration and Labour Market Adjustment, chapter 12, pages 201-235, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:intecp:978-1-4039-2018-8_12
    DOI: 10.1057/9781403920188_12

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    Cited by:

    1. Pellegrino, Gabriele & Penner, Orion & Piguet, Etienne & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan, 2023. "Productivity gains from migration: Evidence from inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1).
    2. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the UK Labour Market," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0501, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
    3. Matloob Piracha & Roger Vickerman, 2002. "Immigration, Labour Mobility and EU Enlargement," Studies in Economics 0209, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Vickerman, Roger, 2002. "Economic issues in a community immigration policy: the regional dimension," ERSA conference papers ersa02p383, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Yaya, Mehmet-Erdem, 2005. "Immigration, Trade and Wages in Germany," MPRA Paper 505, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2006.
    6. Alexander Hijzen & Peter Wright, 2010. "Migration, trade and wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1189-1211, September.
    7. Albrecht Glitz, 2006. "The Labour Market Impact of Immigration: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0612, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
    8. Albrecht Glitz, 2012. "The Labor Market Impact of Immigration: A Quasi-Experiment Exploiting Immigrant Location Rules in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 175-213.
    9. Bonin, Holger & Krause-Pilatus, Annabelle & Rinne, Ulf & Brücker, Herbert, 2020. "Wirtschaftliche Effekte der EU-Arbeitskräftemobilität in den Ziel- und Herkunftsländern," IZA Research Reports 102, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Noel Gaston & Douglas R. Nelson, 2013. "Bridging Trade Theory And Labour Econometrics: The Effects Of International Migration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 98-139, February.
    11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Lihong Yun, 2008. "Technical Progress and Labour Demand in Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 147-167, June.


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