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The Impact of Resident Status Regulations on Immigrants' Labor Supply: Evidence for France

Listed author(s):
  • Joachim Jarreau


    (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)

Many OECD countries have changed the rules for immigrants in recent decades, generally making harder to enter and to stay. France is one example. This paper studies the immigrants' response to the 2004 reform of the immigration law, which made it harder for foreigners to obtain resident status. The strategy for identification exploits a discontinuity in exposure to the reform, determined by the time of entry. The first result is that the 2004 reform prompted a wave of departures among low-skilled, unemployed, unmarried men. This effect is observed among those with previous work experience in France and searching for work, indicating that the difficulty to find a job without resident status creates an incentive for outmigration. Second, the obtention of resident status lowers significantly but marginally the labor supply of women, consistently with an adjustment role of women's work, and with a small substitution effect of labor income with welfare benefits. Overall, these results suggest that restrictions on access to resident status prompted outmigration, but not among the population with the most elastic labor supply. Thus, the reform did not reach its main objectives: selection occurred, but not of those less willing to work; cutting access to benefits increased labor supply, but only marginally.

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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1403.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2014
Date of revision: 28 Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1403
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