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The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market

  • David Card

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the effect of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami labor market, focusing on the wages and unemployment rates of less-skilled workers. The Mariel immigrants increased the population and labor force of the Miami metropolitan area by 7 percent. Most of the immigrants were relatively unskilled: as a result, the proportional increase in labor supply to less-skilled occupations and industries was much greater. Nevertheless, an analysis of wages of non-Cuban workers over the 1979-85 period reveals virtually no effect of the Mariel influx. Likewise, there is no indication that the Boatlift lead to an increase in the unemployment rates of less-skilled blacks or other non-Cuban workers. Even among the Cuban population wages and unemployment rates of earlier immigrants were not substantially effected by the arrival of the Mariels.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3069.

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Date of creation: Aug 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 245-257, (January 1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3069
Note: LS
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  1. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Immigrants, minorities, and labor market competition," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(3), pages 382-392, April.
  4. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1982. "The Substitutability of Natives and Immigrants in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 596-603, November.
  5. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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