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The Wage Effects of Immigration and Emigration

  • Frederic DOCQUIER


    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)

  • Çaglar OZDEN


    (The World Bank, Development Research Group)

  • Giovanni PERI


    (University of California, Davis)

In this paper, we simulate the long-run effects of migrant flows on wages of high-skilled and low-skilled non-migrants in a set of countries using an aggregate representation of national economies. We focus on Europe and compare the outcomes for large Western European countries with those of other key destination countries both in the OECD and outside the OECD. Our analysis builds on an improved database of bilateral stocks and net migration flows of immigrants and emigrants by education level for the years 1990 through 2000. We find that all European countries experienced a decrease in their average wages and a worsening of their wage inequality because of emigration. Whereas, immigration had nearly equal but opposite effects. These patterns hold true using a range of parameters for our simulations, accounting for the estimates of undocumented immigrants, and correcting for the quality of schooling and/or labor-market downgrading of skills. In terms of economic outcomes, it follows that prevalent public fears in European countries are misplaced; immigration has had a positive average wage effect on native workers. These concerns would be more properly focused on the wage effect of emigration.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2010044.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: 14 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2010044
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