IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Labor Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990's

  • Francesco D'Amuri


    (Bank of Italy and ISER, University of Essex)

  • Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano


    (Bocconi University, FEEM and CEPR)

  • Giovanni Peri


    (University of California, Davis and NBER)

In this article we measure the effects of recent immigration on the Western German labor market looking at both wage and employment effects. Refining administrative data for the period 1987-2001 to account for ethnic German immigrants and immigrants from Eastern Germany, we find that the substantial immigration of the 1990's had very little adverse effects on native wages and on their employment levels. Instead, it had a sizable adverse employment effect as well as a small adverse wage effect on previous waves of immigrants. These asymmetric results are partly driven by a higher degree of substitution between old and new immigrants in the labor market. In a simple calculation we show that the largest aggregate effect of new immigration on natives and old immigrants comes from the increased costs of unemployment benefits to old immigrants. Those costs could be eliminated in a world of wage flexibility and no unemployment insurance in which immigration would not have any negative employment effect but only moderate wage effects.

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:
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 0910.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0910
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:

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. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The impact of immigration on the structure of male wages: theory and evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19797, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration and Wages," Working Papers 91, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. William T. Dickens & Lorenz Goette & Erica L. Groshen & Steinar Holden & Julian Messina & Mark E. Schweitzer & Jarkko Turunen & Melanie E. Ward, 2007. "How Wages Change: Micro Evidence from the International Wage Flexibility Project," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 195-214, Spring.
  4. 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.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2001. "Protective or counter-productive? Labor market institutions and the effect of immigration on EU natives," Economics Working Papers 587, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wido Geis & Wilhelm Kohler, 2008. "Restrictive Immigration Policy in Germany: Pains and Gains Foregone?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2316, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:1:p:35-78 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 1-21, May.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:4:p:1373-1408 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Klaus F. Zimmermann, . "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labor," Working Papers 9408, SELAPO Center for Human Resources.
  12. Giovanni Peri, 2007. "Immigrants' Complementarities and Native Wages: Evidence from California," NBER Working Papers 12956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1998. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Working papers 98-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2006. "A Comparative Analysis of the Labor Market Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," NBER Working Papers 12327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Fahr, René & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up Job Creation? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," IZA Discussion Papers 2470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Willem Adema & Donald Gray & Sigrun Kahl, 2003. "Social Assistance in Germany," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 58, OECD Publishing.
  20. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 152-197, 02.
  21. 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.
  22. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 13-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Brücker, Herbert & Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Migration and the Wage Curve: A Structural Approach to Measure the Wage and Employment Effects of Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 3423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Bender, Stefan & Haas, Anette & Klose, Christoph, 2000. "IAB Employment Subsample 1975-1995 Opportunities for Analysis Provided by the Anonymised Subsample," IZA Discussion Papers 117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. David Carey, 2008. "Improving Education Outcomes in Germany," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 611, OECD Publishing.
  27. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Long-run substitutability between more and less educated workers: Evidence from U.S. States 1950-1990," Economics Working Papers 764, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  29. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
  31. 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).
  32. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Angrist, Joshua D, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1065-87, December.
  34. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Ethnic German Migration since 1989 - Results and Perspectives/ Aussiedler seit 1989 - Bilanz und Perspektiven," IZA Discussion Papers 50, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  35. 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.
  36. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in the Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 663-708, 06.
  37. Albrecht Glitz, 2006. "The Labour Market Impact of Immigration: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0612, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  38. De New, John P & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1994. "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labor: A Random Effects Panel Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 177-92.
  39. Eichhorst, Werner & Kaiser, Lutz C., 2006. "The German Labor Market: Still Adjusting Badly?," IZA Discussion Papers 2215, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  40. Schmidt, Christoph M. & Stilz, Anette & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1994. "Mass migration, unions, and government intervention," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 185-201, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0910. 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.