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Immigrants and Firms' Productivity: Evidence from France

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  • Cristina Mitaritonna
  • Gianluca Orefice
  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

Immigrants may complement native workers, allow reallocation by skill in the firm and lower costs. These effects could be beneficial for the firm and increase its productivity and profits. However not all firmes use immigrants. Allowing firms to have differential fixed cost in hiring immigrants, because of different information and access to their network, we analyze the impact of an increase in local supply of immigrants on firms' immigrant employment and productivity. Using micro-level data on French firms during the period 1995-2005, we show that a supply-driven increase in foreign born workers in a department (location) increases the productivity of firms in that department. We also find that this effect is significantly stronger for firms with initially low (or zero) level of foreign employment. Those are also the firms whose share of immigrants increases the most. We also find that the positive productivity effect of immigrants is associated with faster growth of capital and improved export performances (for extensive and intensive margin) of the firms. While these outcomes depend on the firm share of immigrants in employment we find a positive effect of immigration on wages of natives and on specialization of natives in complex occupations that is common to all firms in the district. Supply-driven increase in foreign born workers in a department (location) implies a re-allocation of native workers towards communication and cognitive intensive tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Mitaritonna & Gianluca Orefice & Giovanni Peri, 2014. "Immigrants and Firms' Productivity: Evidence from France," Working Papers 2014-09, CEPII research center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2014-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jürgen Bitzer & Erkan Gören & Sanne Hiller, 2015. "Absorption of Foreign Knowledge: Firms’ Benefits of Employing Immigrants," Working Papers V-386-15, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2015.
    2. Giesing, Yvonne & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya, 2016. "Emigration and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the Sequential Opening of EU Labour Markets," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145850, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Egger, Peter H. & Erhardt, Katharina & Lassmann, Andrea, 2019. "Immigration and firms’ integration in international production networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-34.
    4. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    5. Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2016. "Wage discrimination against immigrants: measurement with firm-level productivity data," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, December.
    6. Anthony Edo, 2016. "How do rigid labor markets absorb immigration? Evidence from France," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-20, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; firms; productivity; heterogeneity; fixed cost of hiring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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