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Did Employer Sanctions Lose Their Bite? Labor Market Effects of Immigrant Legalization

Author

Listed:
  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    () (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Hill, Laura E.

    () (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Hayes, Joseph

    () (Public Policy Institute of California)

Abstract

Taking advantage of the ability to identify immigrants who were unauthorized to work prior to obtaining Legal Permanent Resident status, we use the New Immigrant Survey to examine whether lacking legal status to work in the U.S. constrains employment outcomes of illegal immigrants. With the exception of high-skilled unauthorized immigrants, the data fail to reveal evidence of improved employment outcomes attributable to legal status. In light of evidence that unauthorized immigrants experienced increased wages as a result of receiving amnesty through the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act during the 1990s, we interpret the results as evidence of ineffective employer sanctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lofstrom, Magnus & Hill, Laura E. & Hayes, Joseph, 2010. "Did Employer Sanctions Lose Their Bite? Labor Market Effects of Immigrant Legalization," IZA Discussion Papers 4972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4972
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
    2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak & Steven Raphael, 2007. "Gender Differences in the Labor Market: Impact of IRCA," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 412-416, May.
    3. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
    4. Cynthia Bansak & Steven Raphael, 2001. "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 275-295, January.
    5. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & Zafar M. Nasir, 2002. "The Effect of Naturalization on Wage Growth: A Panel Study of Young Male Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 568-597, July.
    6. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers 754, RAND Corporation.
    7. Amy M. G. Kandilov & Ivan T. Kandilov, 2010. "The Effect of Legalization on Wages and Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Agricultural Workers Survey," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 604-623.
    8. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 81-98.
    9. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
    10. C. Bansak & S. Raphael, "undated". "Immigration Reform and the Earnings of Latino Workers: Do Employer Sanctions Cause Discrimination?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1181-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    11. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers WR-754, RAND Corporation.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:2:p:80-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sampaio, Breno Ramos & Sampaio, Gustavo Ramos & Sampaio, Yony, 2012. "On Estimating The Effects of Legalization: Do Agricultural Workers Really Benefit?," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126858, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "Comparing Wage Gains from Small and Mass Scale Immigrant Legalization Programs," Working Papers 16-001, University of Nevada, Reno, Department of Economics;University of Nevada, Reno , Department of Resource Economics.
    4. Quinn Steigleder & Chad Sparber, 2017. "The effect of legal status on immigrant wages and occupational skills," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(2), pages 80-84, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    legalization; unauthorized; illegal; undocumented; immigration; amnesty;

    JEL classification:

    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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