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The wage impact of undocumented workers

  • Julie L. Hotchkiss
  • Myriam Quispe-Agnoli
  • Fernando Rios-Avila

Using administrative, individual-level, longitudinal data from the state of Georgia, this paper finds that a documented worker employed by a firm that hires undocumented workers can expect to earn 0.15 percent less than if employed by a firm that does not hire undocumented workers. However, in sectors where there are opportunities for task specialization and benefits from communication skills, documented workers can expect to earn a wage premium of less than 1 percent from being employed at a firm that also hires undocumented workers.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2012-04.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2012-04
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  1. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2003-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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  4. Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Munch, Jakob Roland & Rose Skaksen, Jan, 2009. "Do Immigrants Affect Firm-Specific Wages?," Working Papers 07-2008, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
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  9. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1997. "Population, Labour Force, and Long-term Economic Growth," Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population Research Papers 25, McMaster University.
  10. J. David Brown & Serife Genc & Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2014. "Undocumented Workers' Employment Across U.S. Business Cycles," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 653-670, 07.
  11. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  12. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  13. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A & Shiells, Clinton R & Lowell, B Lindsay, 1995. "Immigration Reform: The Effects of Employer Sanctions and Legalization on Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 472-98, July.
  14. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  15. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  17. Joseph Altonji & R. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Working Papers 567, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  18. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2010. "Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(306), pages 255-282, 04.
  19. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, 01.
  20. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 2001. "Churning dynamics: an analysis of hires and separations at the employer level," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, January.
  21. Julie Hotchkiss, 2005. "Employment growth and labor force participation: how many jobs are enough?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 1-13.
  22. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2000. "IRCA's impact on the occupational concentration and mobility of newly-legalized Mexican men," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 81-98.
  23. J. David Brown & Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2012. "Does employing undocumented workers give firms a competitive advantage?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2012-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  24. Jasso, Guillermina, 2011. "Migration and Stratification," IZA Discussion Papers 5904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2006. "Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 12497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, 2009. "Employer monopsony power in the labor market for undocumented workers," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2009-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  27. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
  28. Campbell, Carl M, III, 1993. "Do Firms Pay Efficiency Wages? Evidence with Data at the Firm Level," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 442-70, July.
  29. Jasso, Guillermina & Massey, Douglas S. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Smith, James P., 2008. "From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Chiswick, Carmel U. & Chiswick, Barry R. & Karras, Georgios, 1992. "The impact of immigrants on the macroeconomy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 279-316, December.
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