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Immigrants and Firms' Outcomes: Evidence from France

Listed author(s):
  • Cristina Mitaritonna
  • Gianluca Orefice
  • Giovanni Peri

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22852.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 22852.

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Date of creation: Nov 2016
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22852
Note: ITI LS PR CH
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  1. Anirban Ghosh & Anna Maria Mayda & Francesc Ortega, 2014. "The Impact of Skilled Foreign Workers on Firms: an Investigation of Publicly Traded U.S. Firms," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1442, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Michaela Trax & Stephan Brunow & Jens Suedekum, 2012. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1223, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  4. Giovanni Peri & Kevin Shih & Chad Sparber, 2015. "STEM Workers, H-1B Visas, and Productivity in US Cities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(S1), pages 225-255.
  5. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2004. "The Dynamic Impact of Immigration on Natives' Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 4640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Sanne Hiller, 2013. "Does immigrant employment matter for export sales? Evidence from Denmark," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(2), pages 369-394, June.
  7. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
  8. Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1993. "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labour: A Random Effects Panel Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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