IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp1491.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The labor market effects of refugee waves: reconciling conflicting results

Author

Listed:
  • Michael A. Clemens
  • Jennifer Hunt

Abstract

An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives' wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. We show that conflicting findings on the effects of the Mariel Boatlift can be explained by a large difference in the pre- and post-Boatlift racial composition in subsamples of the Current Population Survey extracts. This compositional change is specific to Miami, unrelated to the Boatlift, and arises from selecting small subsamples of workers. We also show that conflicting findings on the labor market effects of other important refugee waves are caused by spurious correlation between the instrument and the endogenous variable introduced by applying a common divisor to both. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Clemens & Jennifer Hunt, 2017. "The labor market effects of refugee waves: reconciling conflicting results," CEP Discussion Papers dp1491, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1491
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1491.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. MacKinnon, James G & Magee, Lonnie, 1990. "Transforming the Dependent Variable in Regression Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 315-339, May.
    2. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    3. George J. Borjas, 2021. "The Wage Impact Of The Marielitos: A Reappraisal," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 12, pages 375-408, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408.
    7. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The Impact of the 1962 Repatriates from Algeria on the French Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 556-572, April.
    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, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 1-21, May.
    10. Michael A. Clemens, 2017. "The Meaning Of Failed Replications: A Review And Proposal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 326-342, February.
    11. Joseph G. Altonji & Paul J. Devereux, 1999. "The Extent and Consequences of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity," NBER Working Papers 7236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. George J. Borjas & Joan Monras, 2017. "The labour market consequences of refugee supply shocks," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 361-413.
    13. Richard A. Kronmal, 1993. "Spurious Correlation and the Fallacy of the Ratio Standard Revisited," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 156(3), pages 379-392, May.
    14. Walter S. McManus, 1990. "Labor Market Effects of Language Enclaves: Hispanic Men in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 228-252.
    15. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1970_25n2_0391 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Immigrants, Minorities, and Labor Market Competition," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(3), pages 382-392, April.
    17. Gary Solon & Steven J. Haider & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2015. "What Are We Weighting For?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 301-316.
    18. Barry T. Hirsch & Edward J. Schumacher, 2004. "Match Bias in Wage Gap Estimates Due to Earnings Imputation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 689-722, July.
    19. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2003. "Protective or counter-productive? labour market institutions and the effect of immigration on eu natives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 302-331, June.
    20. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
    21. Neyman, Jerzy, 1952. "Lectures and Conferences on Mathematical Statistics and Probability," USDA Miscellaneous 327287, United States Department of Agriculture.
    22. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    23. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366, Elsevier.
    24. 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.
    25. Andrews,Donald W. K. & Stock,James H. (ed.), 2005. "Identification and Inference for Econometric Models," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521844413, November.
    26. George E. Johnson, 1980. "The Labor Market Effects of Immigration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(3), pages 331-341, April.
    27. Abowd, John M. & Freeman, Richard B. (ed.), 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226000954.
    28. 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..
    29. Samuel Bazzi & Michael A. Clemens, 2013. "Blunt Instruments: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Identifying the Causes of Economic Growth," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 152-186, April.
    30. Cahuc, Pierre & Carcillo, Stéphane & Zylberberg, André, 2014. "Labor Economics, second edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262027704, December.
    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. Michael Clemens & Jennifer Hunt, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of Refugee Waves: Reconciling Conflicting Results - Working Paper 455," Working Papers 455, Center for Global Development, revised 19 Jul 2017.
    2. 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.
    3. Anthony Edo, 2017. "The Impact of Immigration on Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Algerian Independence War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6595, CESifo.
    4. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2021. "Answering causal questions using observational data," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2021-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
    5. Chletsos Michael & Roupakias Stelios, 2019. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives in the Greek Labour Market? Evidence from the Skill-Cell Approach before and during the Great Recession," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 1-30, April.
    6. Verme, Paolo & Schuettler, Kirsten, 2021. "The impact of forced displacement on host communities: A review of the empirical literature in economics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    7. Aksu, Ege & Erzan, Refik & Kırdar, Murat Güray, 2022. "The impact of mass migration of Syrians on the Turkish labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    8. Stefano Fusaro & Enrique López‐Bazo, 2021. "Immigration and Native Employment. Evidence from Italian Provinces in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(2), pages 405-428, April.
    9. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Kırdar, Murat G., 2017. "Quasi-experimental impact estimates of immigrant labor supply shocks: The role of treatment and comparison group matching and relative skill composition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 282-315.
    10. Edo, Anthony & Rapoport, Hillel, 2019. "Minimum wages and the labor market effects of immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    11. Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Microeconometric Analyses on Economic Consequences of Selective Migration," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61.
    12. Dogu Tan Araci & Murat Demirci & Murat Guray Kirdar, 2021. "Development Level of Hosting Areas and the Impact of Refugees on Natives’ Labor Market Outcomes," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 2102, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    13. Joan Llull, 2018. "The Effect of Immigration on Wages: Exploiting Exogenous Variation at the National Level," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(3), pages 608-662.
    14. Aracı, Doğu Tan & Demirci, Murat & Kırdar, Murat Güray, 2022. "Development level of hosting areas and the impact of refugees on natives’ labor market outcomes in Turkey☆," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    15. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    16. 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.
    17. Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Vasil Yasenov, 2022. "The role of labor market institutions in the impact of immigration on wages and employment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 124(1), pages 164-213, January.
    18. Lebow Jeremy, 2022. "The labor market effects of Venezuelan migration to Colombia: reconciling conflicting results," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 13(1), pages 1-49, January.
    19. Michael Clemens, 2013. "The Effect of Foreign Labor on Native Employment: A Job-Specific Approach and Application to North Carolina Farms- Working Paper 326," Working Papers 326, Center for Global Development.
    20. Joan Monras, 2020. "Immigration and Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Mexican Peso Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(8), pages 3017-3089.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    refugees; immigration; instrumental variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • 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

    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:cep:cepdps:dp1491. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion-papers/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.