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Job Vacancies, the Beveridge Curve, and Supply Shocks: The Frequency and Content of Help-Wanted Ads in Pre- and Post-Mariel Miami

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  • Jason Anastasopoulos
  • George J. Borjas
  • Gavin G. Cook
  • Michael Lachanski

Abstract

Beginning in 1951, the Conference Board constructed a monthly job vacancy index by counting the number of help-wanted ads published in local newspapers in 51 metropolitan areas. We use the Help-Wanted Index (HWI) to document how immigration changes the number of job vacancies in the affected labor markets. Our analysis revisits the Mariel episode. The data reveal a marked drop in Miami’s HWI relative to many alternative control groups in the first 4 or 5 years after Mariel, followed by recovery afterwards. The Miami evidence is consistent with the observed relation between immigration and the HWI across all metropolitan areas in the 1970-2000 period: these spatial correlations suggest that more immigration reduces the number of job vacancies. We also explore some of the macro implications of the Mariel supply shock and show that Miami’s Beveridge curve shifted inwards by the mid-1980s, suggesting a more efficient labor market, in contrast to the outward nationwide shift coincident with the onset of the 1980- 1982 recession. Finally, we examine the text of the help-wanted ads published in a number of newspapers and document a statistically and economically significant post-Mariel decline in the relative number of low-skill vacancies advertised in the Miami Herald .

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  • Jason Anastasopoulos & George J. Borjas & Gavin G. Cook & Michael Lachanski, 2018. "Job Vacancies, the Beveridge Curve, and Supply Shocks: The Frequency and Content of Help-Wanted Ads in Pre- and Post-Mariel Miami," NBER Working Papers 24580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24580
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    1. Enghin Atalay & Phai Phongthiengtham & Sebastian Sotelo & Daniel Tannenbaum, 2020. "The Evolution of Work in the United States," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 1-34, April.
    2. Stefano Fusaro & Enrique López-Bazo, 2018. "“The Impact of Immigration on Native Employment: Evidence from Italy”," AQR Working Papers 201811, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Jul 2018.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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