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

Author

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  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    () (San Diego State University)

  • de la Rica, Sara

    () (University of the Basque Country)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & de la Rica, Sara, 2005. "Immigrants' Responsiveness to Labor Market Conditions and Its Implications on Regional Disparities: Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1557, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1557
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-251, May.
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    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Raquel Carrasco & Juan Ramón García & Ana Carolina Ortega, "undated". "The Effect of Immigration on the Employment Opportunities of Native-Born Workers: Some Evidence for Spain," Working Papers 2004-17, FEDEA.
    6. 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.
    7. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Swedberg, 2010. "The impact of education and host language skills on the labor market outcomes of immigrants in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5,in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 41, pages 798-824 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    2. Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2012. "Wage and occupational assimilation by skill level: migration policy lessons from Spain," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-20, December.
    3. Alcobendas, Miguel Angel & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2009. "Immigrants' Assimilation Process in a Segmented Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Núria Rodríguez-Planas & Natalia Nollenberger, 2016. "Labor market integration of new immigrants in Spain," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-15, December.
    5. Alexander W. Hoffmaister, 2010. "Barriers to retail competition and prices: evidence from Spain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 395-416, April.
    6. Cristina Fernández & Carolina Ortega, 2008. "Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 83-107, June.
    7. Juan J. Dolado & Pablo Vázquez & Varios Autores, 2008. "Ensayos sobre los efectos económicos de la inmigración en España," Economic Reports 01-08, FEDEA.
    8. Izquierdo, Mario & Lacuesta, Aitor & Vegas, Raquel, 2009. "Assimilation of immigrants in Spain: A longitudinal analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 669-678, December.
    9. Libertad González & Francesc Ortega, 2008. "How Do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions," Economic Reports 06-08, FEDEA.
    10. Dolores Garcia Crespo & Antonio Casquero Tomás, 2011. "Inserción laboral de los jóvenes en España: Inmigrantes vs nativos," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6,in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 43, pages 693-706 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    11. Núria Rodríguez-Planas & Raquel Vegas, 2011. "Moroccans' Assimilation In Spain: Family-Based Versus Labor-Based Migration," Middle East Development Journal (MEDJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(02), pages 119-139.
    12. Lídia Farré & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2014. "Immigrants from eastern partnership (EaP) countries in Spain," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-28, December.
    13. Michael Landesmann & Sandra M. Leitner, 2015. "Labour Mobility of Migrants and Natives in the European Union: An Empirical Test of the 'Greasing of the Wheels’ Effect of Migrants," wiiw Working Papers 119, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    14. Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2007. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Recent evidence from Spanish regions," Economics Working Papers 1059, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrant location; immigrant workers; regional disparities; immigrant responsiveness; international migration; labor market conditions;

    JEL classification:

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

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