IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/19272.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Brian C. Cadena
  • Brian K. Kovak

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that low-skilled Mexican-born immigrants' location choices in the U.S. respond strongly to changes in local labor demand, and that this geographic elasticity helps equalize spatial differences in labor market outcomes for low-skilled native workers, who are much less responsive. We leverage the substantial geographic variation in employment losses that occurred during Great Recession, and our results confirm the standard finding that high-skilled populations are quite geographically responsive to employment opportunities while low-skilled populations are much less so. However, low-skilled immigrants, especially those from Mexico, respond even more strongly than high-skilled native-born workers. These results are robust to a wide variety of controls, a pre-recession falsification test, and two instrumental variables strategies. Moreover, we show that natives living in metro areas with a substantial Mexican-born population are insulated from the effects of local labor demand shocks compared to those in places with few Mexicans. The reallocation of the Mexican-born workforce reduced the incidence of local demand shocks on low-skilled natives' employment outcomes by roughly 40 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian C. Cadena & Brian K. Kovak, 2013. "Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19272
    Note: ITI LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19272.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2011. "The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 211-251, January.
    2. Petri Böckerman & Mika Haapanen, 2013. "The effect of polytechnic reform on migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 593-617, April.
    3. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
    4. William R. Kerr, 2010. "Breakthrough Inventions and Migrating Clusters of Innovation," NBER Chapters, in: Cities and Entrepreneurship, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Abigail Wozniak, 2010. "Are College Graduates More Responsive to Distant Labor Market Opportunities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 944-970.
    6. David Mare & Melanie Morten & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Settlement patterns and the geographic mobility of recent migrants to New Zealand," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 163-195.
    7. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:1-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2009. "Geographic labour mobility and unemployment insurance in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 267-283, April.
    9. Rebecca Diamond, 2016. "The Determinants and Welfare Implications of US Workers' Diverging Location Choices by Skill: 1980-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 479-524, March.
    10. Andrews,Donald W. K. & Stock,James H. (ed.), 2005. "Identification and Inference for Econometric Models," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521844413, May.
    11. George J. Borjas, 2021. "Does Immigration Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 14, pages 431-484, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Jesse Rothstein, 2012. "The Labor Market Four Years into the Crisis: Assessing Structural Explanations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(3), pages 467-500, July.
    13. Hickman, Daniel C., 2009. "The effects of higher education policy on the location decision of individuals: Evidence from Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship Program," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 553-562, September.
    14. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise in the Disability Rolls and the Decline in Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-206.
    15. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-196, Summer.
    16. David A. Jaeger, 2007. "Green Cards and the Location Choices of Immigrants in the United States, 1971–2000," Research in Labor Economics, in: Barry R. Chiswick (ed.), Immigration, volume 27, pages 131-183, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    17. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
    18. Brian C. Cadena, 2013. "Native Competition and Low-Skilled Immigrant Inflows," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 910-944.
    19. Hilary Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & Jessamyn Schaller, 2012. "Who Suffers during Recessions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 27-48, Summer.
    20. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    21. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    22. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 111-143, June.
    23. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2010. "Mexican Immigrant Employment Outcomes over the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 316-320, May.
    24. Ofer Malamud & Abigail Wozniak, 2012. "The Impact of College on Migration: Evidence from the Vietnam Generation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 913-950.
    25. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Matthew J Notowidigdo, 2019. "Housing Booms, Manufacturing Decline and Labour Market Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(617), pages 209-248.
    26. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, "undated". "The Employment Effects of Credit Market Disruptions: Firm-level Evidence from the 2008-09 Financial Crisis," Working Paper 90811, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    27. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 2000. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 20-54, January.
    28. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-391, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John Gardner & Joshua R. Hendrickson, 2018. "If I Leave Here Tomorrow: An Option View of Migration When Labor Market Quality Declines," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(3), pages 786-814, January.
    2. Michael Amior & Alan Manning, 2018. "The Persistence of Local Joblessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1942-1970, July.
    3. Amior, Michael, 2018. "The contribution of foreign migration to local labor market adjustment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91705, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Monras, Joan, 2015. "Economic Shocks and Internal Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 8840, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Krolikowski, Pawel & Zabek, Mike & Coate, Patrick, 2020. "Parental proximity and earnings after job displacements," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    6. Daniel A. Broxterman & William D. Larson, 2020. "An empirical examination of shift‐share instruments," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 677-711, September.
    7. Andreas Beerli & Ronald Indergand, 2014. "Which Factors Drive the Skill-Mix of Migrants in the Long-Run?," Diskussionsschriften dp1501, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    8. John V. Winters, 2017. "Do earnings by college major affect graduate migration?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 59(3), pages 629-649, November.
    9. William R. Keeton & Geoffrey B. Newton, 2005. "Does immigration reduce imbalances among labor markets or increase them? : evidence from recent migration flows," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 47-79.
    10. David Albouy & Alex Chernoff & Chandler Lutz & Casey Warman, 2019. "Local Labor Markets in Canada and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 533-594.
    11. Amior, Michael, 2020. "The contribution of immigration to local labor market adjustment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108419, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Lessem, Rebecca & Nakajima, Kayuna, 2019. "Immigrant wages and recessions: Evidence from undocumented Mexicans," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 92-115.
    13. Sjoquist, David L. & Winters, John V., 2013. "The effects of HOPE on post-college retention in the Georgia workforce," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 479-490.
    14. Ning Jia & Raven S. Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2022. "The Economics of Internal Migration: Advances and Policy Questions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2022-003, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2013. "Modeling individual migration decisions," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 2, pages 39-54, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Cadena, Brian C., 2014. "Recent immigrants as labor market arbitrageurs: Evidence from the minimum wage," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 1-12.
    17. Cem Özgüzel, 2020. "The Cushioning Effect of Immigrant Mobility: Evidence from the Great Recession in Spain," PSE Working Papers halshs-03000365, HAL.
    18. Ding, Xiaozhou, 2021. "College education and internal migration in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    19. Baum-Snow, Nathaniel & Ferreira, Fernando, 2015. "Causal Inference in Urban and Regional Economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 3-68, Elsevier.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • 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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19272. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.