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Assessing Inherent Model Bias: An Application to Native Displacement in Response to Immigration

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  • Giovanni Peri
  • Chad Sparber

Abstract

There is a long-standing debate among academics about the effect of immigration on native internal migration decisions. If immigrants displace natives this may indicate a direct cost of immigration in the form of decreased employment opportunity for native workers. Moreover, displacement would also imply that cross-region analyses of wage effects systematically underestimate the consequences of immigration. The widespread use of such area studies for the US and other countries makes it especially important to know whether a native internal response to immigration truly occurs. This paper introduces a microsimulation methodology to test for inherent bias in regression models that have been used in the literature. We show that some specifications have built biases into their models, thereby casting doubt on the validity of their results. We then provide a brief empirical analysis with a panel of observed US state-by-skill data. Together, our evidence argues against the existence of native displacement. This implies that cross-region analyses of immigration's effect on wages are still informative.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2010. "Assessing Inherent Model Bias: An Application to Native Displacement in Response to Immigration," NBER Working Papers 16332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16332
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    1. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
    2. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2016. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 3, pages 81-115 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 179-208, May.
    4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. David Card, 2007. "How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0711, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0907, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    7. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    8. 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.
    9. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
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    12. David Card & Ethan G. Lewis, 2007. "The Diffusion of Mexican Immigrants During the 1990s: Explanations and Impacts," NBER Chapters,in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 193-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The effects of immigration on US wages and rents: a general equilibrium approach," Chapters,in: Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 3, pages 107-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique," Working Papers 05-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Patricia Cortes, 2008. "The Effect of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Prices: Evidence from CPI Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 381-422, June.
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    17. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Knowledge, Technology, Human Capital Working Papers 44227, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    18. George J. Borjas, 1980. "The Relationship between Wages and Weekly Hours of Work: The Role of Division Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 409-423.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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