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Consequences of Immigrating During a Recession: Evidence from the US Refugee Resettlement Program

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  • Mask, Joshua

Abstract

I examine long-term employment and wage consequences for refugees who immigrate to the United States under different business cycle conditions. It is difficult to causally identify the relationship between initial economic conditions and subsequent outcomes for most immigrants because they can choose when and where they immigrate. However, refugees offer a unique opportunity to empirically measure these outcomes because their dates of arrival and states of placement are exogenously chosen through the US Refugee Resettlement Program. For every one percentage point increase in the national unemployment rate at arrival, refugees on average experience a 2.99% reduction in wages five years later and a 1.8 percentage point reduction in employment four years later. Estimates using state unemployment rate at arrival show less persistence suggesting mobility or differential economic improvement across states may be important in mitigating these effects. I also divide the sample across gender and educational attainment. I find no evidence of wage scarring for uneducated males but observe a 4.85% reduction in wages five years later for high school-educated males and a 5.29% reduction in wages four years later for college-educated.

Suggested Citation

  • Mask, Joshua, 2018. "Consequences of Immigrating During a Recession: Evidence from the US Refugee Resettlement Program," MPRA Paper 88492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:88492
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
    2. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
    3. Lori A. Beaman, 2012. "Social Networks and the Dynamics of Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Refugees Resettled in the U.S," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 128-161.
    4. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, January.
    5. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-688, August.
    6. Olof ├ůslund & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Do when and where matter? initial labour market conditions and immigrant earnings," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 422-448, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Labor Market Outcomes; Settlement Policies; Recession;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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