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Still More On Mariel: The Role of Race

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

Card’s (1990) study of the Mariel supply shock remains an important cornerstone of both the literature that measures the labor market impact of immigration, and of the “stylized fact” that immigration might not have much impact on the wage of workers in a receiving country. My recent reappraisal of the Mariel evidence (Borjas, 2017) revealed that the wage of low-skill workers in Miami declined substantially in the years after Mariel, and has already encouraged a number of re-reexaminations. Most recently, Clemens and Hunt (2017) argue that a data quirk in the CPS implies that wage trends in the sample of non-Hispanic prime-age men examined in my paper does not correctly represent what happened to wages in post-Mariel Miami. Specifically, there was a substantial increase in the black share of Miami’s low-skill workforce in the relevant period (particularly between the 1979 and 1980 survey years of the March CPS). Because African-American men earn less than white men, this increase in the black share would spuriously produce a drop in the average low-skill wage in Miami. This paper examines the robustness of the evidence presented in my original paper to statistical adjustments that control for the increasing number of black men in Miami’s low-skill workforce. The evidence consistently indicates that the race-adjusted low-skill wage in Miami fell significantly relative to the wage in other labor markets shortly after 1980 before fully recovering by 1990.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas, 2017. "Still More On Mariel: The Role of Race," NBER Working Papers 23504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23504
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    2. Michael A. Clemens & Jennifer Hunt, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of Refugee Waves: Reconciling Conflicting Results," NBER Working Papers 23433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2010. "Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(306), pages 255-282, April.
    4. Christopher L. Smith, 2012. "The Impact of Low-Skilled Immigration on the Youth Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 55-89.
    5. Giovanni Peri & Vasil Yasenov, 2015. "The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Applying the Synthetic Control Method to the Mariel Boatlift," NBER Working Papers 21801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Clemens, Michael A. & Hunt, Jennifer, 2017. "The labor market effects of refugee waves: reconciling conflicting results," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86582, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. George J. Borjas, 2016. "The Wage Impact of the Marielitos: Additional Evidence," NBER Working Papers 21850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Still More On Mariel: The Role of Race
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-06-20 19:37:50

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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Anastasopoulos & George J. Borjas & Gavin G. Cook & Michael Lachanski, 2018. "Job Vacancies and Immigration: Evidence from Pre- and Post-Mariel Miami," NBER Working Papers 24580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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