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Do immigrants take or create residents’ jobs? Quasi-experimental evidence from Switzerland

We estimate the causal effect of immigration on the labor market outcomes of resident employees in Switzerland, whose foreign labor force has increased by 32.8% in the last decade. To address endogeneity of immigration into different labor market cells, we develop new variants of the shift-share instrument, tailored for small-open economies, that exploit only that part in the variation of immigration which can be explained by migration push-factors in the source countries. We find that immigration has reduced unemployment of residents and has enabled them to fill more demanding jobs, while it had no adverse effect on wages and employment.

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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 13-335.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:13-335
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  1. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  2. Frank Kleibergen & Richard Paap, 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-003/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Wozniak, Abigail & Murray, Thomas J., 2012. "Timing is everything: Short-run population impacts of immigration in US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 60-78.
  4. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2015. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of US Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages S147 - S186.
  5. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2004. "Robustness And Real Consequences Of Nominal Wage Rigidity," Macroeconomics 0409025, EconWPA.
  7. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2007. "Does immigration affect wages? A look at occupation-level evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 757-773, October.
  8. Michael Gerfin & Boris Kaiser, 2010. "The Effects of Immigration on Wages: An Application of the Structural Skill-Cell Approach," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 709-739, December.
  9. Patrick A. Puhani, 2003. "Relative Demand Shocks and Relative Wage Rigidities During the Rise and Fall of Swiss Unemployment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 541-562, November.
  10. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The Impact of the 1962 Repatriates from Algeria on the French Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 556-572, April.
  11. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
  12. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
  13. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Manacorda, Marco & Manning, Alan & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2010. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 7888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Peri, Giovanni, 2011. "Rethinking the area approach: Immigrants and the labor market in California," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-14, May.
  16. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2011. "The dynamic impact of immigration on natives' labor market outcomes: Evidence from Israel," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1027-1045.
  17. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2012. "Immigration and the Distribution of Incomes," IZA Discussion Papers 6921, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Peter Stalder, 2010. "Free Migration between the EU and Switzerland: Impacts on the Swiss Economy and Implications for Monetary Policy," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 821-874, December.
  19. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," Working Papers 633, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  20. Rolf Schenker & Martin Straub, 2011. "Spatio-Temporal Dynamics in Swiss Regional Unemployment," KOF Working papers 11-274, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  21. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
  22. Peri, Giovanni & Sparber, Chad, 2011. "Assessing inherent model bias: An application to native displacement in response to immigration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 82-91, January.
  23. 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.
  24. Jennifer Hunt, 1992. "The impact of the 1962 repatriates from Algeria on the French labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 556-572, April.
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