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Discouraged Immigrants and the Missing Pop in EPOP


  • Norlander, Peter

    (Loyola University)

  • Sorensen, Todd A.

    (University of Nevada, Reno)


We address the impact of declining migration on the measurement of labor market health. We first document an historically significant decline in the growth rate of the U.S. foreign born population since 2000. A decomposition shows that nearly two-thirds of the decline can be attributed to declining pull factors in the U.S. Had this decline not occurred, there would have been approximately 7.2 million more immigrants present in the U.S. in 2013. Making a conservative assumption about the hypothetical likelihood of employment for these "Discouraged Immigrants," a recalculation of the Employment to Population Ratio reveals a 13% larger decline since 2000 than is shown when conventionally measured.

Suggested Citation

  • Norlander, Peter & Sorensen, Todd A., 2016. "Discouraged Immigrants and the Missing Pop in EPOP," IZA Discussion Papers 9668, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9668

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    employment data; population; international migration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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