IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cda/wpaper/256.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S

Author

Listed:
  • Giovanni Peri
  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

Recent influential empirical work has emphasized the negative impact immigrants have on the wagesof U.S.-born workers, arguing that immigration harms less educated American workers in particular andall U.S.-born workers in general. Because U.S. and foreign born workers belong to different skill groupsthat are imperfectly substitutable, one needs to articulate a production function that aggregates differenttypes of labor (and accounts for complementarity and substitution effects) in order to calculate the variouseffects of immigrant labor on U.S.-born labor. We introduce such a production function, making the crucialassumption that U.S. and foreign-born workers with similar education and experience levels may neverthelessbe imperfectly substitutable, and allowing for endogenous capital accumulation. This function successfullyaccounts for the negative impact of the relative skill levels of immigrants on the relative wages of U.S. workers.However, contrary to the findings of previous literature, overall immigration generates a large positive effecton the average wages of U.S.-born workers. We show evidence of this positive effect by estimating the impactof immigration on both average wages and housing values across U.S. metropolitan areas (1970-2000). Wealso reproduce this positive effect by simulating the behavior of average wages and housing prices in an opencity-economy, with optimizing U.S.-born agents who respond to an inflow of foreign-born workers of the sizeand composition comparable to the immigration of the 1990s.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," Working Papers 256, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:256
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repec.dss.ucdavis.edu/files/aaRxCfWtX8yjBbivJmGKkMtM/05-8.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    2. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
    6. 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.
    7. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
    8. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408.
    9. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    10. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    11. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 65-97, October.
    12. Ruud, Paul A., 2000. "An Introduction to Classical Econometric Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195111644.
    13. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Immigrants, Minorities, and Labor Market Competition," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(3), pages 382-392, April.
    14. Fallon, P R & Layard, P R G, 1975. "Capital-Skill Complementarity, Income Distribution, and Output Accounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 279-301, April.
    15. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    16. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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.
    19. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1991. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Less-skilled Natives," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 201-234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    21. Angrist, Joshua D, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1065-1087, December.
    22. Kevin M. Murphy & W. Craig Riddell & Paul M. Romer, 1998. "Wages, Skills, and Technology in the United States and Canada," NBER Working Papers 6638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    24. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
    25. 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.
    26. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    27. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1982. "The Substitutability of Natives and Immigrants in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 596-603, November.
    28. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, May.
    30. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    31. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    32. Ethan Lewis, 2003. "Local, open economies within the U.S.: how do industries respond to immigration?," Working Papers 04-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 2, pages 35-80, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 2, pages 35-80 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. 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.
    4. Lewis, Ethan & Peri, Giovanni, 2015. "Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 625-685, Elsevier.
    5. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2007. "Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 13389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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..
    8. 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..
    9. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    10. Bodvarsson, Örn B. & Van den Berg, Hendrik F. & Lewer, Joshua J., 2008. "Measuring immigration's effects on labor demand: A reexamination of the Mariel Boatlift," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 560-574, August.
    11. Ortega, Javier & Verdugo, Gregory, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the French labor market: Why so different?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 14-27.
    12. Giovanni Peri, 2009. "Rethinking the Area Approach: Immigrants and the Labor Market in California, 1960-2005," Working Papers 57, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    13. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2008. "Complements or Substitutes? Immigrant and Native Task Specialization in Spain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0816, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    14. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & de la Rica, Sara, 2011. "Complements or substitutes? Task specialization by gender and nativity in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 697-707, October.
    15. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2006. "A Comparative Analysis of the Labor Market Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," NBER Working Papers 12327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Lemos, Sara & Portes, Jonathan, 2008. "New Labour? The Impact of Migration from Central and Eastern European Countries on the UK Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 3756, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Ethan Lewis, 2004. "How did the Miami labor market absorb the Mariel immigrants?," Working Papers 04-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    19. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    20. Morin, Louis-Philippe, 2015. "Cohort size and youth earnings: Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 99-111.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign-Born; Skill Complementarity; Wages; Gains from Migration.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:256. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Letters and Science IT Services Unit (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.