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Quasi-Experimental Impact Estimates of Immigrant Labor Supply Shocks: The Role of Treatment and Comparison Group Matching and Relative Skill Composition

  • Abdurrahman Aydemir


    (Sabanci University)

  • Murat G. Kirdar


    (Middle East Technical University)

This paper examines the employment effects of an increase in labor supply using the politically-driven exodus of ethnic Turks from Bulgaria into Turkey in 1989. The strong involvement of the Turkish state in the settlement of earlier waves of repatriates provides us a strong source of exogenous variation in the 1989 immigrant shock across locations. Using a potential sample of 613 cities and towns in Turkey with variable treatment intensity - in some locations the change in the labor force is almost 10 percent - this analysis places much attention on constructing a matched sample that is well balanced in terms of covariate distributions of the treatment and comparison groups, including matching based on an estimated propensity score. We find a positive effect of repatriates on the unemployment of non-repatriates. In fact, in certain regions, a 10-percentage-point increase in the share of repatriates in the labor force increases the unemployment rate of natives by 4 percentage points. When the analysis is done according to skill groups, we find that the impact is the strongest on the young and on non-repatriates with similar educational attainment.

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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 1123.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1123
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