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The Winners and Losers of Immigration: Evidence from Linked Historical Data

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  • Joseph Price
  • Christian vom Lehn
  • Riley Wilson

Abstract

Using recent innovations in linking historical U.S. Census data, we study the economic impacts of immigration on natives, including their geographic migration response. We find that the arrival of foreign immigrants significantly increases both native out-migration and in-migration. Accounting for this selective geographic migration, we find smaller economic impacts of immigration for native workers than previous work, including no positive impact on worker incomes. We present evidence of significant “losers” from increased immigration, namely workers who appear to be displaced by immigrant labor and move out of their local labor market, whereas the workers who remain see significant benefits. We also find that younger and lowerskilled workers are “losers” from increased immigration, whereas older and higher-skilled workers are “winners.”

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Price & Christian vom Lehn & Riley Wilson, 2020. "The Winners and Losers of Immigration: Evidence from Linked Historical Data," NBER Working Papers 27156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27156
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Jongkwan & Peri, Giovanni & Yasenov, Vasil, 2022. "The labor market effects of Mexican repatriations: Longitudinal evidence from the 1930s," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    2. Zimran, Ariell, 2022. "US immigrants’ secondary migration and geographic assimilation during the Age of Mass Migration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    3. Ran Abramitzky & Philipp Ager & Leah Boustan & Elior Cohen & Casper Hansen, 2021. "The Effect of Immigration on Local Labor Markets: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure," Research Working Paper RWP 21-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    4. Eriksson, Katherine & Ward, Zachary, 2022. "Immigrants and cities during the age of mass migration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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