Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants
This paper investigates the impact of legalization on the economic outcomes of the legalized population. It uses a natural experiment caused by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which gave amnesty for undocumented immigrants who could prove continuous residence in the U.S. after January 1, 1982. The arbitrary cutoff date on the eligibility criteria causes a discontinuity in the relationship between the year of immigration and the probability of being legal. This paper uses this discontinuity to identify the causal impacts of legalization on immigrants' outcomes. Regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences estimates show that immigrants eligible for the policy have a significantly higher probability of being naturalized citizens than those who were not. Legalization is also found to have a positive and significant effect on wages, a negative effect on the probability of working in a traditionally illegal occupation, and no significant effect on geographical mobility. The analysis for different demographic groups confirms such conclusions and shows that the estimated effects of legalization are larger for low-educated Latin American immigrants, the group that was disproportionably affected by the policy.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138|
Phone: (310) 393-0411, x7359
Web page: http://www.rand.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006.
"Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States,"
NBER Working Papers
12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
- David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010.
"Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
- J. Edward Taylor, 1992. "Earnings and Mobility of Legal and Illegal Immigrant Workers in Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(4), pages 889-896.
- Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D., 1995. "Finding Good Opportunities within Undcoumented Markets: US Occupational Mobility for Latino Workers," CEPR Discussion Papers 331, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- David Lindstrom, 1996. "Economic opportunity in mexico and return migration from the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(3), pages 357-374, August.
- Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996.
"Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
- Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
- Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2000. "IRCA's impact on the occupational concentration and mobility of newly-legalized Mexican men," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 81-98.
- Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996.
"Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
- Kristin F. Butcher, 1994. "Black Immigrants in the United States: A Comparison with Native Blacks and other Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 265-284, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:754. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benson Wong)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.