IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages

  • Giovanni Peri

    ()

    (UC Davis and NBER)

  • Chad Sparber

    ()

    (Colgate University)

Many workers with low levels of educational attainment immigrated to the United States in recent decades. Large inflows of less-educated immigrants would reduce wages paid to comparably-educated native-born workers if the two groups are perfectly substitutable in production. In a simple model exploiting comparative advantage, however, we show that if less-educated foreign and native-born workers specialize in performing different tasks, immigration will cause natives to reallocate their task supply, thereby reducing downward wage pressure. We merge occupational task-intensity data from the O*NET and DOT datasets with individual Census data across US states from 1960-2000 to demonstrate that foreign-born workers specialize in occupations that require manual and physical labor skills while natives pursue jobs more intensive in communication and language tasks. Immigration induces natives to specialize accordingly. Simulations show that this increased specialization might explain why economic analyses commonly find only modest wage and employment consequences of immigration for less-educated native-born workers across U.S. states. This is especially true in states with large immigration flows.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_02_08.pdf
Download Restriction: no

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 0802.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0802
Contact details of provider: Postal: Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AX
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 5888
Fax: +44 (0)20 7916 2775
Web page: http://www.cream-migration.org/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Race between Education and Technology: The Evolution of U.S. Educational Wage Differentials, 1890 to 2005," NBER Working Papers 12984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0608, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. David Card & Ethan Lewis, 2005. "The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0504, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. Katz, Lawrence F & Murphy, Kevin M, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78, February.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron, 1997. "Why Do New Technologies Complement Skills? Directed Technical Change and Wage Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 1707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2009. "The Growth of Low Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 12497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Saiz, Albert, 2006. "Immigration and Housing Rents in American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 2189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. D'Amuri, Francesco & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "The labor market impact of immigration in Western Germany in the 1990's," HWWI Research Papers 3-12, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  13. 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.
  14. Patel, Krishna & Vella, Francis, 2007. "Immigrant Networks and Their Implications for Occupational Choice and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 3217, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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.
  16. Bacolod, Marigee & Blum, Bernardo S. & Strange, William C., 2009. "Skills in the city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 136-153, March.
  17. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2007. "Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 13389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2010. "Highly-Educated Immigrants and Native Occupational Choice," Working Papers 2010-09, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Barry R Chiswick & Paul W Miller, 2007. "Occupational Language Requirements and the Value of English in the US Labor Market," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 07-06, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  22. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  23. George J. Borjas, 2005. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," NBER Working Papers 11610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  25. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," NBER Working Papers 7904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. Acemoglu, D. & Zilibotti, F., 1998. "Productivity Differences," Papers 660, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  28. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2001. "The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 8337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Sparber, Chad, 2007. "Racial Diversity and Aggregate Productivity in U.S. Industries: 1980-2000," Working Papers 2007-02, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
  30. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  31. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. David Card, 2007. "How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0711, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  33. Butcher, Kristin F & Card, David, 1991. "Immigration and Wages: Evidence from the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 292-96, May.
  34. Adriana Kugler & Mutlu Yuksel, 2008. "Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch," NBER Working Papers 14293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, skill mix, and the choice of technique," Working Papers 05-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  36. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Patricia Cortes, 2008. "The Effect of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Prices: Evidence from CPI Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 381-422, 06.
  38. Autor, David & Dorn, David, 2009. "Inequality and Specialization: The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  39. Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Working Papers 2008.77, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  40. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
  41. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2007. "The Effects of Immigration on U.S. Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0713, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  42. Joseph Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcome of Less-Skilled Natives," Working Papers 636, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  43. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Working papers 95-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  44. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages (AEJ:AE 2009) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CReAM Administrator)

or (Thomas Cornelissen)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.