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Immigration, Jobs and Employment Protection: Evidence from Europe

  • Francesco D'Amuri
  • Giovanni Peri

In this paper we analyze the effect of immigrants on native jobs in fourteen Western European countries. We test whether the inflow of immigrants in the period 1996-2007 decreased employment rates and/or if it altered the occupational distribution of natives with similar education and age. We find no evidence of the first but significant evidence of the second: immigrants took "simple" (manual-routine) type of occupations and natives moved, in response, toward more "complex" (abstract-communication) jobs. The results are robust to the use of an IV strategy based on past settlement of different nationalities of immigrants across European countries. We also document the labor market flows through which such a positive reallocation took place: immigration stimulated job creation, and the complexity of jobs offered to new native hires was higher relative to the complexity of destructed native jobs. Finally, we find evidence that the occupation reallocation of natives was significantly larger in countries with more flexible labor laws. This tendency was particularly strong for less educated workers.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17139.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “Immigration, Jobs and Labor Market Institutions: Evidence from Europe” (with F. D’Amuri) forthcoming Journal of European Economic Association,.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17139
Note: LS
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Docquier, Frederic & Ozden, Caglar & Peri, Giovanni, 2011. "The wage effects of immigration and emigration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5556, The World Bank.
  3. Libertad Gonzalez & Francesc Ortega, 2008. "How do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions," Development Working Papers 248, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  4. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  5. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Tommaso Frattini, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 478-495, Autumn.
  6. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  7. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2011. "The Aggregate Effects of Trade and Migration: Evidence from OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 5604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 1-21, May.
  10. Joseph Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcome of Less-Skilled Natives," Working Papers 636, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration and Wages," Working Papers 91, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  12. Alan S. Blinder, 2006. "Preparing America’s Workforce: Are We Looking in the Rear-View Mirror?," Working Papers 67, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  13. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Patricia Cort�s & Jos� Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
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