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Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State's Unauthorized Immigrant Population?

  • Bohn, Sarah

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Lofstrom, Magnus

    ()

    (Public Policy Institute of California)

  • Raphael, Steven

    ()

    (University of California, Berkeley)

We test for an effect of Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as foreign-born, as non-citizen, and as non-citizen Hispanic. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be compared. We document a notable and statistically significant reduction in the proportion of the Arizona population that is foreign-born and in particular, that is Hispanic noncitizen. The decline observed for Arizona matches the timing of LAWA's implementation, deviates from the time series for the chosen synthetic control group, and stands out relative to the distribution of placebo estimates for the remainder of states in the nation. Furthermore, we do not observe similar declines for Hispanic naturalized citizens, a group not targeted by the legislation. Our results on LAWA's impact on the housing market provide further support for our findings.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5682.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, 96(2), 258-269
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5682
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  1. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  2. Thomas C. Buchmueller & John DiNardo & Robert G. Valletta, 2009. "The effect of an employer health insurance mandate on health insurance coverage and the demand for labor: evidence from Hawaii," Working Paper Series 2009-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. 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.
  4. Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Working Papers 2008.77, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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