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Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates

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  • Suresh Naidu
  • Yaw Nyarko
  • Shing-Yi Wang

Abstract

In 2011, a reform in the United Arab Emirates allowed any employer to renew a migrant's visa upon contract expiration without written permission from the initial employer. We find that the reform increased incumbent migrants' earnings and firm retention of these workers. This occurs despite an increase in employer transitions, and is driven by a fall in country exits. While the outcomes of workers already in the United Arab Emirates improved, our analysis suggests that the reform decreased demand for new migrant workers and lowered their earnings. These results are consistent with a model in which the reform reduces the monopsony power of firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Suresh Naidu & Yaw Nyarko & Shing-Yi Wang, 2014. "Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates," NBER Working Papers 20388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20388
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Suresh Naidu & Yaw Nyarko & Shing-Yi Wang, 2016. "Monopsony Power in Migrant Labor Markets: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(6), pages 1735-1792.
    2. Briggs Depew & Peter Norlander & Todd A. Sørensen, 2017. "Inter-firm mobility and return migration patterns of skilled guest workers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 681-721, April.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 2015. "Saudi Arabia: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2015/286, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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