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Immigrants and Firms' Outcomes: Evidence from France

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  • Cristina Mitaritonna
  • Gianluca Orefice
  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the impact of an increase in the local supply of immigrants on firms’ outcomes, allowing for heterogeneous effects across firms according to their initial productivity. Using micro-level data on French manufacturing firms spanning the period 1995-2005, we show that a supply-driven increase in the share of foreign-born workers in a French department (a small geographic area) increased the total factor productivity of firms in that department. Immigrants were prevalently highly educated and this effect is consistent with a positive complementarity and spillover effects from their skills. We also find this effect to be significantly stronger for firms with low initial productivity and small size. The positive productivity effect of immigrants was also associated with faster growth of capital, larger exports and higher wages for natives. Highly skilled natives were pushed towards firms that did not hire too many immigrants spreading positive productivity effects to those firms too. Because of stronger effects on smaller and initially less productive firms, the aggregate effects of immigrants at the department level on average productivity and employment was small.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Mitaritonna & Gianluca Orefice & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Immigrants and Firms' Outcomes: Evidence from France," NBER Working Papers 22852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22852
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    2. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-22, CEPII research center.
    3. Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre & Torun, Huzeyfe, 2020. "Two and a half million Syrian refugees, tasks and capital intensity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    4. Costanza Biavaschi & Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Mariapia Mendola, 2018. "South–South migration and the labor market: evidence from South Africa," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 823-853.
    5. Marchal, Léa & Nedoncelle, Clément, 2017. "How foreign-born workers foster exports," Kiel Working Papers 2071, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Edo, Anthony & Rapoport, Hillel, 2019. "Minimum wages and the labor market effects of immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    7. Chletsos Michael & Roupakias Stelios, 2019. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives in the Greek Labour Market? Evidence from the Skill-Cell Approach before and during the Great Recession," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 1-30, April.
    8. Massimiliano Bratti & Luca De Benedictis & Gianluca Santoni, 2020. "Immigrant entrepreneurs, diasporas, and exports," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 249-272, March.
    9. Andreas Beerli & Jan Ruffner & Michael Siegenthaler & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(3), pages 976-1012, March.
    10. Goldin, Ian & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Lafond, François & Winkler, Julian, 2020. "Why is productivity slowing down?," MPRA Paper 99172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Nathan Nunn, 2019. "Rethinking economic development," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1349-1373, November.
    12. Brunello, Giorgio & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2020. "Does low-skilled immigration increase profits? Evidence from Italian local labour markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    13. Brunello, Giorgio & Lodigiani, Elisabetta & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2017. "Does Low Skilled Immigration Cause Human Capital Polarization? Evidence from Italian Provinces," IZA Discussion Papers 11062, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Akgündüz, Yusuf Emre & Torun, Huzeyfe, 2018. "Two and a half million Syrian refugees, skill mix and capital intensity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 186, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    JEL classification:

    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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