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Immigrating into a Recession: Evidence from Family Migrants to the U.S

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  • Toman Barsbai

    (Toman Barsbai)

  • Andreas Steinmayr

    (Andreas Steinmayr)

  • Christoph Winter

    (Christoph Winter)

Abstract

We analyze how economic conditions at the time of arrival affect the economic integration of family-sponsored migrants in the U.S. Our identification strategy exploits long waiting times for family-sponsored immigration visas that decouple the migration decision from economic conditions at the time of arrival. A one pp higher unemployment rate at arrival decreases annual wage income by four percent in the short run and two percent in the longer run. The loss in wage income is the result of substantial occupational downgrading, lower hourly wages, and a reduction in working hours. Family migrants who immigrate into a recession draw on migrant and family networks to mitigate the negative labor market effects. As a result, they take up occupations with higher concentrations of fellow countrypeople. They are also more likely to reside with family members, potentially reducing their geographical mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Toman Barsbai & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Winter, 2022. "Immigrating into a Recession: Evidence from Family Migrants to the U.S," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2201, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:2201
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    Cited by:

    1. García-Suaza, A & Gallego, J. M. & Mayorga, J. D. & Mondragón-Mayo, A. & Sepúlveda, C. & Sarango, A., 2022. "COVID-19 and assimilation: an analysis of immigration from Venezuelan in Colombia," Documentos de Trabajo 020417, Universidad del Rosario.
    2. Pia Schilling & Steven Stillman, 2021. "The Impact of Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants on Their Integration in the Host Country," CESifo Working Paper Series 9308, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigrant integration; family reunification; migrant networks; labor market; business cycle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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