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Migration and Imperfect Labor Markets: Theory and Cross-Country Evidence from Denmark, Germany and the UK

  • Brücker, Herbert

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Jahn, Elke J.

    ()

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

  • Upward, Richard

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

We investigate the labor market effects of immigration in Denmark, Germany and the UK, three countries which are characterized by considerable differences in labor market institutions and welfare states. Institutions such as collective bargaining, minimum wages, employment protection and unemployment benefits affect the way in which wages respond to labor supply shocks, and, hence, the labor market effects of immigration. We employ a wage-setting approach which assumes that wages decline with the unemployment rate, albeit imperfectly. We find that wage flexibility is substantially higher in the UK compared to Germany and, in particular, Denmark. As a consequence, immigration has a much larger effect on the unemployment rate in Germany and Denmark, while the wage effects are larger in the UK. Moreover, the elasticity of substitution between natives and foreign workers is high in the UK and particularly low in Germany. Thus, the preexisting foreign labor force suffers more from further immigration in Germany than in the UK.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6713.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2014, 66, 205-225
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6713
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  1. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  2. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
  3. Samuel Bentolila & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, 2007. "Does Immigration Affect The Phillips Curve? Some Evidence For Spain," Working Papers wp2007_0718, CEMFI.
  4. Simonetta LONGHI & Peter NIJKAMP & Jacques POOT, 2008. "Meta-Analysis Of Empirical Evidence On The Labour Market Impacts Of Immigration," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 27, pages 161-191.
  5. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2009. "Migration and Wage-Setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Kiel Working Papers 1502, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  9. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2010. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," NBER Working Papers 16229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Osikominu, Aderonke & Völter, Robert, 2005. "Imputation rules to improve the education variable in the IAB employment subsample," FDZ Methodenreport 200503_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  11. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," IZA Discussion Papers 1665, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Paul Levine, 1999. "The welfare economics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 23-43.
  13. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in the Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 663-708, 06.
  14. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2008. "The growth-inequality association: Government ideology matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 300-308, October.
  15. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
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