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Immigrants' Responsiveness to Labor Market Conditions and Its Implications on Regional Disparities: Evidence from Spain

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    ()

    (San Diego State University)

  • de la Rica, Sara

    ()

    (University of the Basque Country)

Using data from the Spanish Labor Force Survey (Encuesta de Población Activa) from 1999 through 2004, we explore the role of regional employment opportunities in explaining the increasing immigrant flows of recent years despite the limited internal mobility on the part of natives. Subsequently, we investigate the policy question of whether immigration has helped reduced unemployment rate disparities across Spanish regions by attracting immigrant flows to regions offering better employment opportunities. Our results indicate that immigrants choose to reside in regions with larger employment rates and where their probability of finding a job is higher. In particular, and despite some differences depending on their origin, immigrants appear generally more responsive than their native counterparts to a higher likelihood of informal, self, or indefinite employment. More importantly, insofar the vast majority of immigrants locate in regions characterized by higher employment rates, immigration contributes to greasing the wheels of the Spanish labor market by narrowing regional unemployment rate disparities.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1557.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, 2010, 1 (1), 387-407
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1557
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  1. David Card, 1997. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," NBER Working Papers 5927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. George J. Borjas, 2001. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 69-134.
  3. Bover, Olympia & Velilla, Pilar, 1999. "Migration in Spain: Historical Background and Current Trends," IZA Discussion Papers 88, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Raquel Carrasco & Juan Ramón García & Ana Carolina Ortega, . "The Effect of Immigration on the Employment Opportunities of Native-Born Workers: Some Evidence for Spain," Working Papers 2004-17, FEDEA.
  5. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Namkee Ahn & Sara La De Rica, 1997. "The underground economy in Spain: an alternative to unemployment?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 733-743.
  8. Sara de la Rica & Thomas Lemieux, 1994. "Does Public Health Insurance Reduce Labor Market Flexibility or Encourage the Underground Economy? Evidence from Spain and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 265-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Del Boca, Daniela & Venturini, Alessandra, 2003. "Italian Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 938, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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