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The Impact of Ireland's Recession on the Labour Market Outcomes of its Immigrants

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  • Barrett, Alan
  • Kelly, Elish

Abstract

In the mid 2000s Ireland experienced a large inflow of immigrants, partly in response to strong economic growth but also in response to its decision to allow full access to its labour market when EU expansion occurred in May 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, the proportion of non-nationals living in Ireland almost doubled, increasing from 7.7 to 13.1 percent. Between 2008 and 2009, Ireland experienced one of the most acute downturns in economic activity in the industrialised world, with a cumulative fall in Gross National Product of close to 14 percent. In this paper, we assess how this downturn has impacted upon the employment outcomes of non-nationals relative to natives. We find huge job losses among immigrants, with an annual rate of job loss of close to 20 percent in 2009, compared to 7 percent for natives. A higher rate of job loss for immigrants is found to remain when we control for factors such as age and education. We also show how an outflow of non-nationals is occurring. The findings have many implications. In particular, the results point to economic vulnerability for immigrants. However, they also point to a potential macroeconomic benefit to Ireland in terms of a flexible labour supply adjustment.

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  • Barrett, Alan & Kelly, Elish, 2010. "The Impact of Ireland's Recession on the Labour Market Outcomes of its Immigrants," Papers WP355, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp355
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Barrett & Adele Bergin & Elish Kelly & Seamus McGuinness, 2016. "Ireland’s Recession and the Immigrant-Native Earnings Gap," Springer Books, in: Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), Labor Migration, EU Enlargement, and the Great Recession, pages 103-122, Springer.
    2. Lee, Taehoon & Peri, Giovanni & Viarengo, Martina, 2022. "The gender aspect of migrants’ assimilation in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    3. Joyce, Corona, 2011. "Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum 2010: Ireland (December 2011)," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number sustat38a, August.
    4. Hoseini,Mohammad & Dideh,Mahsa Jahan, 2022. "How Do Shared Experiences of Economic Shocks Impact Refugees and Host Communities ? Evidence fromAfghan Refugees in Iran," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9915, The World Bank.
    5. Timo Baas & Marjan Aikimbaeva, 2016. "Macroeconomic Stability and the Single European Labor Market," EcoMod2016 9555, EcoMod.
    6. McGinnity, Fran & Russell, Helen & Watson, Dorothy & Kingston, Gillian & Kelly, Elish, 2014. "Winners and Losers? The Equality Impact of the Great Recession in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT265, August.
    7. Lunn, Pete, 2012. "The Impact of Recession on Migration: A Preliminary Analysis of Census 2011," Research Notes RN2012/2/3, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Mikaela Backman & Esteban Lopez & Francisco Rowe, 2021. "The occupational trajectories and outcomes of forced migrants in Sweden. Entrepreneurship, employment or persistent inactivity?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 963-983, February.
    9. Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "Returning Home at Times of Trouble? Return Migration of EU Enlargement Migrants during the Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 7111, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Kris Inwood & Chris Minns & Fraser Summerfield, 2016. "Reverse assimilation? Immigrants in the Canadian labour market during the Great Depression," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 299-321.
    11. Quinn, Emma & Gusciute, Egle & Barrett, Alan & Joyce, Corona, 2014. "Migrant Access to Social Security and Healthcare: Policies and Practice in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT261, August.
    12. McGinnity, Frances & Quinn, Emma & O'Connell, Philip J. & Donnelly, Nora, 2011. "Annual Monitoring Report on Integration 2010," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT183, August.
    13. Laurence, James & Kelly, Elish & McGinnity, Frances & Curristan, Sarah, 2023. "Wages and working conditions of non-Irish nationals in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number JR2, August.
    14. Quinn, Emma, 2010. "Satisfying Labour Demand Through Migration: Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT176, August.
    15. Philip J. O’Connell & Corona Joyce, 2013. "International Migration in Ireland, 2012," Working Papers 201304, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    16. Bergin, Adele & Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2014. "Changes in Labour Market Transitions in Ireland over the Great Recession," Papers WP485, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants/immigration/Ireland/recession;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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