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Protective or Counter-Productive? Labor Market Institutions and the Effect Immigration on EU Natives

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  • Angrist, Joshua

    (MIT)

  • Kugler, Adriana

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of immigrant flows on native employment in Western Europe, and then ask whether the employment consequences of immigration vary with institutions that affect labor market flexibility. Reduced flexibility may protect natives from immigrant competition in the near term, but our theoretical framework suggests that reduced flexibility is likely to increase the negative impact of immigration on equilibrium employment. In models without interactions, OLS estimates for a panel of European countries in the 1980s and 1990s show small, mostly negative immigration effects. To reduce bias from the possible endogeneity of immigration flows, we use the fact that many immigrants arriving after 1991 were refugees from the Balkan wars. An IV strategy based on variation in the number of immigrants from former Yugoslavia generates larger though mostly insignificant negative estimates. We then estimate models allowing interactions between the employment response to immigration and institutional characteristics including business entry costs. These results, limited to the sample of native men, generally suggest that reduced flexibility increases the negative impact of immigration. Many of the estimated interaction terms are significant, and imply a significant negative effect on employment in countries with restrictive institutions.We estimate the effect of immigrant flows on native employment in Western Europe, and then ask whether the employment consequences of immigration vary with institutions that affect labor market flexibility. Reduced flexibility may protect natives from immigrant competition in the near term, but our theoretical framework suggests that reduced flexibility is likely to increase the negative impact of immigration on equilibrium employment. In models without interactions, OLS estimates for a panel of European countries in the 1980s and 1990s show small, mostly negative immigration effects. To reduce bias from the possible endogeneity of immigration flows, we use the fact that many immigrants arriving after 1991 were refugees from the Balkan wars. An IV strategy based on variation in the number of immigrants from former Yugoslavia generates larger though mostly insignificant negative estimates. We then estimate models allowing interactions between the employment response to immigration and institutional characteristics including business entry costs. These results, limited to the sample of native men, generally suggest that reduced flexibility increases the negative impact of immigration. Many of the estimated interaction terms are significant, and imply a significant negative effect on employment in countries with restrictive institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Angrist, Joshua & Kugler, Adriana, 2002. "Protective or Counter-Productive? Labor Market Institutions and the Effect Immigration on EU Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 433, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp433
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    Cited by:

    1. Adriana D. Kugler & Giovanni Pica, 2006. "The Effects of Employment Protection and Product Market Regulations on the Italian Labour Market," Chapters, in: Julián Messina & Claudio Michelacci & Jarkko Turunen & Gylfi Zoega (ed.), Labour Market Adjustments in Europe, chapter 4, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Peter Huber & Gabriele Tondl, 2012. "Migration and regional convergence in the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 439-460, November.
    3. Adriana Kugler & Juan F. Jimeno & Virginia Hernanz, "undated". "Employment Consequences of Restrictive Permanent Contracts: Evidence from Spanish Labor Market Reforms," Working Papers 2003-14, FEDEA.
    4. Michele Battisti & Gabriel Felbermayr & Giovanni Peri & Panu Poutvaara, 2018. "Immigration, Search and Redistribution: A Quantitative Assessment of Native Welfare," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 1137-1188.
    5. Frederic DOCQUIER & Çaglar OZDEN & Giovanni PERI, 2010. "The Wage Effects of Immigration and Emigration," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2010044, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Asadul Islam & Dietrich K. Fausten, 2008. "Skilled Immigration and Wages in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 66-82, September.
    7. Chen, Yu-Fu & Funke, Michael, 2008. "Product market competition, investment and employment-abundant versus job-poor growth: A real options perspective," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 218-238, March.
    8. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2003. "The effects of employment protection and product market regulations on the Italian labor market," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0310, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    9. Schündeln, Matthias, 2007. "Are Immigrants More Mobile Than Natives? Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3226, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Hainmueller, Jens & Hiscox, Michael J., 2007. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 399-442, April.
    12. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
    13. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2009. "The Impact of Immigration on the Employment of Natives in Regional Labour Markets: A Meta-Analysis," Chapters, in: Jacques Poot & Brigitte Waldorf & Leo van Wissen (ed.), Migration and Human Capital, chapter 9, pages 173-194, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "How Large Is the "Brain Drain" from Italy?," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(1), pages 1-32, April.
    15. Kugler, Adriana & Pica, Giovanni, 2008. "Effects of employment protection on worker and job flows: Evidence from the 1990 Italian reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 78-95, February.
    16. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "Does temporary migration have to be permanent?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3582, The World Bank.
    17. Epstein, Gil S, 2002. "Informational Cascades and Decision to Migrate," CEPR Discussion Papers 3287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Adriana D. Kugler, 2004. "The Effect of Job Security Regulations on Labor Market Flexibility. Evidence from the Colombian Labor Market Reform," NBER Chapters, in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 183-228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. William Betz & Nicole Simpson, 2013. "The effects of international migration on the well-being of native populations in Europe," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.
    20. Speciale, Biagio, 2012. "Does immigration affect public education expenditures? Quasi-experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 773-783.
    21. Anna Lialina, 2019. "Labor market security in the light of external labor migration: new theoretical findings," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 6(3), pages 1205-1225, March.
    22. Juan F. Jimeno, "undated". "Demographic change, immigration, and the labour market: A European perspective," Working Papers 2004-18, FEDEA.
    23. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Matthias Schündeln, 2014. "Are Immigrants More Mobile Than Natives? Evidence From Germany," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 70-95, January.
    25. Moreno Baruffini, 2019. "Perceptions of Job Insecurity in Switzerland: Evidence Using Verbal and Numerical Descriptors," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(10), pages 1-18, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European unemployment; entry cost; Immigrant absorption; labor market flexibility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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