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The Impact of Amnesty on Labor Market Outcomes: A Panel Study Using the Legalized Population Survey

Author

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  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    () (San Diego State University)

  • Bansak, Cynthia

    () (St. Lawrence University)

Abstract

This paper tests whether amnesty, a provision of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), affected the labor market outcomes of the legalized population. Using the Legalized Population Survey (LPS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) from 1987-1992, a quasi-experimental framework is developed to assess the differential impact of amnesty on the legalized population relative to a comparison group. After the implementation of the amnesty program, employment fell and unemployment rose for newly legalized men relative to the comparison group of already legal U.S. residents. For women, employment also fell and transitions out of the workforce increased among the newly legalized population. Increasing returns to skill, as captured by English proficiency, only played an important role in explaining the employment of newly legalized women. Finally, newly legalized men and women enjoyed higher wage growth rates than their working native counterparts, perhaps owing to their comparatively growing returns to U.S. educational attainment over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Bansak, Cynthia, 2011. "The Impact of Amnesty on Labor Market Outcomes: A Panel Study Using the Legalized Population Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 5576, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5576
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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. 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.
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    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joël MACHADO, 2012. "On the welfare impacts of an immigration amnesty," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    2. Altangerel, Khulan & van Ours, Jan C., 2017. "U.S. Immigration Reform and the Dynamics of Mexican Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 12032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Joan Monras & Javier Vázquez-Grenno & Ferran Elias, 2017. "Understanding the Effects of Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1708, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    4. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2015. "The Impact of Temporary Protected Status on Immigrants' Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 576-580, May.
    5. Cynthia Bansak, 2016. "Legalizing undocumented immigrants," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 245-245, March.
    6. Simone Cremaschi & Carlo Devillanova, 2016. "Immigrants and Legal Status: Do Personal Contacts Matter?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1629, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    7. repec:ctl:louvde:v:83:y:2017:i:4:p:445-492 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Khulan Altangerel & Jan van Ours, 2016. "U.S. Immigration Reform and the Dynamics of Mexican Migration," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-043/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Pope, Nolan G., 2016. "The Effects of DACAmentation: The Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on Unauthorized Immigrants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 98-114.
    10. repec:kap:decono:v:165:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10645-017-9311-x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Mukhopadhyay, Sankar, 2018. "Comparing Wage Gains from Different Immigrant Legalization Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 11525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of Amnesty for Unauthorized Immigrants," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 32(1), pages 85-106, Winter.
    13. Sherrie A. Kossoudji, 2016. "What are the consequences of regularizing undocumented immigrants?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 296-296, September.
    14. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak, 2014. "Employment Verification Mandates And The Labor Market Outcomes Of Likely Unauthorized And Native Workers," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 671-680, July.
    15. Altangerel, Khulan & van Ours, Jan, 2017. "U.S. immigration reform and the migration dynamics of Mexican males," Other publications TiSEM ed2fd098-2862-4d6a-9909-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    16. Casarico, Alessandra & Facchini, Giovanni & Frattini, Tommaso, 2016. "What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA," IZA Discussion Papers 9666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Devillanova, Carlo & Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso, 2014. "Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program," IZA Discussion Papers 8151, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Chi, Miao & Drewianka, Scott, 2014. "How much is a green card worth? Evidence from Mexican men who marry women born in the U.S," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 103-116.
    19. Kalena E. Cortes, 2013. "Achieving the DREAM: The Effect of IRCA on Immigrant Youth Postsecondary Educational Access," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 428-432, May.
    20. Christoph Albert, 2017. "The Labor Market Impact of Undocumented Immigrants: Job Creation vs. Job Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 6575, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. repec:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:2:p:80-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Joël MACHADO, 2017. "Dealing with Undocumented Immigrants: The Welfare Effects of Amnesties and Deportations," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 445-492, December.
    23. repec:spr:izamig:v:8:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0107-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. 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

    Legalized Population Survey; labor market; legalization; amnesty;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers

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