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Restrictive immigration policy in Germany: Pains and gains foregone?

  • Felbermayr, Gabriel
  • Geis, Wido
  • Kohler, Wilhelm K.

Many European countries restrict immigration from new EU member countries. The rationale is to avoid adverse wage and employment effects. We quantify these effects for Germany. Following Borjas (in Q J Econ CXVIII(4):1335-1374, 2003), we estimate a structural model of labor demand, based on elasticities of substitution between workers with different experience levels and education. We allow for unemployment which we model in a price-wage-setting framework. Simulating a counterfactual scenario without restrictions for migration from new EU members countries in Germany, we find moderate negative wage and employment effects for incumbent foreigners, but positive effects for natives. Our results indicate that for the native German population as a whole the immigration restrictions are not welfare enhancing.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20616.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Review of World Economics 1 146(2010): pp. 1-21
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20616
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  1. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 5454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Kohler, Wilhelm K., 2007. "Immigration and native welfare," Munich Reprints in Economics 20608, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain The Rising Return To College For Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746, May.
  4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2007. "Rethinking the effects of immigration on wages," HWWI Research Papers 3-8, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  5. D Amuri, Francesco & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "The Labour Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990's," CEPR Discussion Papers 6736, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2005. "The Wage Curve Reloaded," NBER Working Papers 11338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0754, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Brücker, Herbert & Jahn, Elke J., 2008. "Migration and the Wage Curve: A Structural Approach to Measure the Wage and Employment Effects of Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 3423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Berry, R Albert & Soligo, Ronald, 1969. "Some Welfare Aspects of International Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 778-94, Sept./Oct.
  12. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  13. 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..
  14. 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.
  15. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2007. "Immigration And Native Welfare," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 731-760, 08.
  16. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2006. "Reconciling the Estimates of Potential Migration into the Enlarged European Union," IZA Discussion Papers 2519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. 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.
  18. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1985. "International Trade and Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 691-707, September.
  19. Hans-Werner Sinn & Gebhard Flaig & Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Nicola Düll & Herbert Hofmann, 2001. "EU-Erweiterung und Arbeitskräftemigration : Wege zu einer schrittweisen Annäherung der Arbeitsmärkte," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 2, December.
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