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The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain

  • Marco Manacorda

    ()

    (Department of Economics, QMUL - CEP, LSE and CEPR)

  • Alan Manning

    ()

    (Department of Economics, LSE - CEP, LSE)

  • Jonathan Wadsworth

    (Department of Economics, RHUL - CEP, LSE and IZA)

Immigration to the UK has risen over time. Existing studies of the impact of immigration on the wages of native-born workers in the UK have failed to find any significant effect. This is something of a puzzle since Card and Lemieux, (2001) have shown that changes in the relative supply of educated natives do seem to have measurable effects on the wage structure. This paper offers a resolution of this puzzle - natives and immigrants are imperfect substitutes, so that an increase in immigration reduces the wages of immigrants relative to natives. We show this using a pooled time series of British cross-sectional micro data of observations on male wages and employment from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s. This lack of substitution also means that there is little discernable effect of increased immigration on the wages of native-born workers, but that the only sizeable effect of increased immigration is on the wages of those immigrants who are already here.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0608.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0608
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  1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F300-F323, November.
  5. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," Working Papers 633, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. 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.
  9. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the UK Labour Market," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0501, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  10. M Arellano & Costas Megir & Mary Silles, 1990. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated using Complementary Data Sets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. 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.
  12. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1989. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 55, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2005. "Immigrants in the British Labour Market," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0507, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  14. 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, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  15. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  16. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  17. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1.
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