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The Labor Market Costs of Conflict: Closures, Foreign Workers, and Palestinian Employment and Earnings

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  • Miaari, Sami H.

    () (Tel Aviv University)

  • Sauer, Robert M.

    () (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Abstract

In this paper, we measure the implications of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for Palestinian employment and earnings. We quantify the conflict by the frequency of temporary closures of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the number of overseas foreign workers in the Israeli labor market. Data on Palestinian employment and earnings are taken from the Palestinian Labor Force Survey (PLFS) of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The PLFS micro level panel data are combined with quarterly time series data on the number of foreign workers in Israel, the number of foreign worker permits issued by the Israeli government, and the frequency of temporary closures of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, between the years 1999 and 2004. Fixed-effects estimates which exploit the number of foreign worker permits issued by the Israeli government as an instrument for the number of foreign workers, yield large and statistically significant negative effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Palestinian employment rates in Israel and mean monthly earnings, regardless of work location (Israel or West Bank and Gaza Strip). Closures also significantly reduce Palestinian employment rates in Israel and mean monthly earnings. The impact of foreign workers is relatively stronger than the impact of closures because foreign workers are long-run substitutes for Palestinians in the Israeli labor market while closures represent only a transitory, short-run restriction on Palestinian labor supply. However, the impact of foreign workers also reflects a permanent effect of closures.

Suggested Citation

  • Miaari, Sami H. & Sauer, Robert M., 2006. "The Labor Market Costs of Conflict: Closures, Foreign Workers, and Palestinian Employment and Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 2282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2282
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    1. Sami Miaari & Robert Sauer, 2011. "The labor market costs of conflict: closures, foreign workers, and Palestinian employment and earnings," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 129-148, March.
    2. Siddig, Khalid H.A. & Flaig, Dorothee & Luckmann, Jonas & Grethe, Harald, 2011. "A 2004 Social Accounting Matrix for Israel: Documentation of an Economy-Wide Database with a Focus on Agriculture, the Labour Market, and Income Distribution," Working Papers 110156, Universitaet Hohenheim, Institute of Agricultural Policy and Agricultural Markets.
    3. Calì, Massimiliano & Miaari, Sami H., 2018. "The labor market impact of mobility restrictions: Evidence from the West Bank," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 136-151.
    4. Ihle, Rico & Rubin, Ofir D., 2013. "Consequences of unintended food policies: Food price dynamics subject to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 96-105.
    5. Etkes Haggay, 2012. "The Impact of Employment in Israel on the Palestinian Labor Force," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-36, August.
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    16. repec:eee:jeborg:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:222-247 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    instrumental variables; earnings; employment; closures; foreign workers; Israelis; Palestinians; immigration; conflict; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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