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

  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Hill, Laura E.

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Hayes, Joseph

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4972.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4972
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  1. C. Bansak & S. Raphael, . "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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. 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, vol. 13(1), pages 81-98.
  5. Cynthia Bansak & Steven Raphael, 2001. "Immigration reform and the earnings of Latino workers: Do employer sanctions cause discrimination?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(2), pages 275-295, January.
  6. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers 754, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
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