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Residual Wage Inequality and Immigration in the UK and the US

Listed author(s):
  • Rienzo, Cinzia

Over the last few decades, immigration has increased significantly in both the US and the UK; both countries have also experienced notable increases in the degree of wage inequality. Unlike previous studies, this paper focuses on the effects of immigration on the residual wage inequality in the UK and US between 1994 and 2008. It seeks to assess whether and to what degree immigration contributed, along with technology, institutions and traditional explanations, to widening inequality. To answer these questions, this work reassesses Lemieux’s hypothesis (i.e., composition effects exert an upward mechanical force on the residual wage inequality) by adding the immigration dimension to the original analysis. The empirical analysis reveals that residual wage inequality is higher among immigrants than among natives. However, such differences do not contribute (much) to the increasing residual wage inequality observed in the two countries.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30279.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision: Mar 2011
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30279
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  1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
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  4. Brahim Boudarbat & Thomas Lemieux, 2014. "Why Are the Relative Wages of Immigrants Declining? A Distributional Approach," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 67(4), pages 1127-1165, October.
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  8. Jonathan Wadsworth, 2010. "The Uk Labour Market And Immigration," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 213(1), pages 35-42, July.
  9. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  10. Thomas Lemieux, 2008. "The changing nature of wage inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
  11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices," NBER Working Papers 11628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  13. Chantal Nielsen, 2011. "Immigrant over-education: evidence from Denmark," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 499-520, April.
  14. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2007. "Task Specialization, Comparative Advantages, and the Effects of Immigration on Wages," NBER Working Papers 13389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 152-197, 02.
  16. Gould, Eric D & Moav, Omer, 2008. "When is "Too Much" Inequality Not Enough? The Selection of Israeli Emigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 6955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
  18. John Schmitt & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2007. "Changes in the Relative Economic Performance of Immigrants to Great Britain and the United States, 1980-2000," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(4), pages 659-686, December.
  19. Stephen Machin, 2008. "An Appraisal of Economic Research on Changes in Wage Inequality," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 7-26, 06.
  20. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the British Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 324-341, November.
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