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The Labour Market Impact of Immigration: Quasi-Experimental Evidence

  • Albrecht Glitz

    ()

    (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, Department of Economics, University College London)

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, ethnic Germans living in the former Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries were given the chance to migrate to Germany. Within 15 years, 2.8 million individuals moved. Upon arrival, these immigrants were exogenously allocated to different regions by the administration in order to ensure an even distribution across the country. Their inflows can therefore be seen as a natural experiment of immigration, avoiding the typical endogeneity problem of immigrant inflows with regard to local labour market conditions. I analyse the effect of these exogenous inflows on relative skill-specific employment and wage rates of the resident population in different geographical areas between 1996 and 2001. The variation I exploit in the empirical estimations arises primarily from differences in the initial skill composition across regions. Skill groups are defined either based on occupations or educational attainment. For both skill definitions, my results indicate a displacement effect of around 4 unemployed resident workers for every 10 immigrants that find a job. I do not find evidence of any detrimental effect on relative wages.

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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 0612.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0612
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  1. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, 07.
  2. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof �slund, 2003. "Ethnic Enclaves And The Economic Success Of Immigrants - Evidence From A Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357, February.
  3. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, 04.
  4. Giovanni Peri & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," Working Papers 634, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Occupational Mobility of Ethnic Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 58, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
  10. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1996. "Immigration and the Earnings of Young Native Workers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 473-91, July.
  11. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Johannes Velling, 1997. "Employment Effects Of Immigration To Germany: An Analysis Based On Local Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 594-604, November.
  14. Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2007. "The Income Gap Between Natives and Second Generation Immigrants in Sweden: Is Skill the Explanation?," IZA Discussion Papers 2759, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Hartog, Joop & Zorlu, Aslan, 2002. "The Effect of Immigration on Wages in Three European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 642, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1997. "Unemployment and wages of ethnic Germans," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 361-377.
  17. Eric Gould & Victor Lavy & Daniele M. Paserman, 2004. "Immigrating to Opportunity: Estimating The Effect of School Quality Using a Natural Experiment On Ethiopians in Israel," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 489-526, May.
  18. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 F302-F331, 06.
  20. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bonin, Holger, 2005. "Wage and Employment Effects of Immigration to Germany: Evidence from a Skill Group Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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