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The Effects of Immigration on US Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach

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  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco
  • Peri, Giovanni

Abstract

In this paper we document a strong positive correlation of immigration flows with changes in average wages and average house rents for native residents across U.S. states. Instrumental variables estimates reveal that the correlations are compatible with a causal interpretation from immigration to wages and rents of natives. Separating the effects of immigrants on natives of different schooling levels we find positive effects on the wages and rents of highly educated and small effects on the wages (negative) and rents (positive) of less educated. We propose a model where natives and immigrants of three different education levels interact in production in a central district and live in the surrounding region. In equilibrium the inflow of immigrants has a positive productive effect on natives due to complementarieties in production as well as a positive competition effect on rents. The model calibrated and simulated with U.S.-states data matches most of the estimated effects of immigrants on wages and rents of natives in the period 1990-2005. This validation suggests the proposed model as a useful tool to evaluate the impacts of alternative immigration scenarios on U.S. wages and rents.

Suggested Citation

  • Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2007. "The Effects of Immigration on US Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6551, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Füss, Roland & Zietz, Joachim, 2016. "The economic drivers of differences in house price inflation rates across MSAs," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 35-53.
    2. Michael Gerfin & Boris Kaiser, 2010. "The Effects of Immigration on Wages: An Application of the Structural Skill-Cell Approach," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 709-739, December.
    3. Mussa, Abeba & Nwaogu, Uwaoma G. & Pozo, Susan, 2017. "Immigration and housing: A spatial econometric analysis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 13-25.
    4. Sa, Filipa, 2011. "Immigration and House Prices in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 5893, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Michael Lucht & Anette Haas, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Substitution by Tasks: the Productivity Effect of Migrants," ERSA conference papers ersa12p894, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Kugler, Adriana & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2008. "Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch," IZA Discussion Papers 3670, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
    8. Nathan, Max, 2011. "The Long Term Impacts of Migration in British Cities: Diversity, Wages, Employment and Prices," MPRA Paper 29465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Anette Haas & Michael Lucht & Norbert Schanne, 2012. "Why to employ both migrants and natives? A study on task-specific substitutability," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012026, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    10. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2014. "First-Come First-Served: Identifying the Demand Effect of Immigration Inflows on House Prices," SERC Discussion Papers 0160, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    11. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Sinning, Mathias G., 2011. "Neighborhood diversity and the appreciation of native- and immigrant-owned homes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 214-226, May.
    12. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2011. "Highly Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 385-411, July.
    13. 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..
    14. Dhimitri Qirjo, 2015. "Monitoring, endogenous comparative advantage, and immigration," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, December.
    15. Libertad Gonzalez & Francesc Ortega, 2013. "Immigration And Housing Booms: Evidence From Spain," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 37-59, February.
    16. Kürschner, Kathleen, 2017. "Immigration and Rental Prices of Residential Housing: Evidence from the Fall of the Berlin Wall," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168092, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Anette Haas & Michael Lucht, 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms and Imperfect Substitution: The Productivity Effect of Migrants," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2013019, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    18. Mazzolari, Francesca & Numark, David, 2009. "The Effects of Immigration on the Scale and Composition of Demand: A study of California establishments," MPRA Paper 19217, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Steven Stillman & David C. Maré, 2008. "Housing Markets and Migration: Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers 08_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    20. Todd Schoellman, 2010. "The Occupations and Human Capital of U.S. Immigrants," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34.
    21. Fischer, Andreas M., 2012. "Immigrant language barriers and house prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 389-395.
    22. Francesca Mazzolari & David Neumark, 2012. "Immigration and product diversity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(3), pages 1107-1137, July.
    23. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2011. "Assessing inherent model bias: An application to native displacement in response to immigration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 82-91, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    housing prices; immigration; rents; U.S. States; wages;

    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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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