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The Effects of Migration on the Relative Demand of Skilled versus Unskilled Labour: Evidence from Spain


  • Dolado, Juan J.
  • Duce, Rosa
  • Jimeno, Juan F


In this paper we construct a simple model of the effects of immigration on the labour market outcomes of natives. In this model, skilled and unskilled labour are substitutes, immigrants are complementary to the former, and wages are determined by bargaining. We are able to prove that, irrespective of the degree of competition in the market for skilled labour, there are sufficient conditions for immigration to raise total employment. We then estimate the effects of immigration on wages and employment of both types of workers across Spanish provinces following the lifting of some restrictions on migration policy in 1991. We find little evidence that the subsequent inflows of immigrants are associated with negative effects on both wages and employment of less-skilled natives.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolado, Juan J. & Duce, Rosa & Jimeno, Juan F, 1996. "The Effects of Migration on the Relative Demand of Skilled versus Unskilled Labour: Evidence from Spain," CEPR Discussion Papers 1476, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1476

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Anderson, Kym & Dimaranan, Betina & Hertel, Thomas W & Martin, Will, 1997. "Economic Growth and Policy Reform in the APEC Region: Trade and Welfare Implications by 2005," CEPR Discussion Papers 1605, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    Cited by:

    1. Angrist, Joshua & Kugler, Adriana, 2002. "Protective or Counter-Productive? Labor Market Institutions and the Effect Immigration on EU Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 433, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Joan Monras & Javier Vázquez-Grenno & Ferran Elias, 2017. "Understanding the Effects of Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1708, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Raquel Fonseca, 2003. "On the Interaction between Unemployment and Inter-regional Mobility," CSEF Working Papers 105, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. 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.
    5. Simonetta LONGHI & Peter NIJKAMP & Jacques POOT, 2008. "Meta-Analysis Of Empirical Evidence On The Labour Market Impacts Of Immigration," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 27, pages 161-191.
    6. Alexander Kemnitz, 2005. "Discrimination and Resistance to Low-skilled Immigration," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(2), pages 177-190, June.
    7. Carraro, Carlo & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2005. "Labour demand with heterogeneous workers: Migrations and unemployment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 119-136, June.
    8. Joshua Angrist & Adriana Kugler, 2001. "Protective or Counter-Productive? European Labor Market Institutions and the Effect of Immigrants on EU Natives," NBER Working Papers 8660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Stefano Staffolani & Enzo Valentini, 2010. "Does Immigration Raise Blue and White Collar Wages of Natives? The Case of Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(3), pages 295-310, September.
    11. Willi Leibfritz & Paul O'Brien & Jean-Christophe Dumont, 2003. "Effects of Immigration on Labour Markets and Government Budgets - An Overview," CESifo Working Paper Series 874, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Heterogeneous Labour; Immigration; Unions; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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