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The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland

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  • Andreas Beerli
  • Jan Ruffner
  • Michael Siegenthaler
  • Giovanni Peri

Abstract

We study a reform that granted European cross-border workers free access to the Swiss labor market and had a stronger effect on regions close to the border. The greater availability of cross-border workers increased foreign employment substantially. Although many cross-border workers were highly educated, wages of highly educated natives increased. The reason is a simultaneous increase in labor demand: the reform increased the size, productivity, and innovation performance of skill-intensive incumbent firms and attracted new firms, creating opportunities for natives to pursue managerial jobs. These effects are mainly driven by firms that reported skill shortages before the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Beerli & Jan Ruffner & Michael Siegenthaler & Giovanni Peri, 2018. "The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland," NBER Working Papers 25302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25302
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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