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The Dynamics of Immigration and Wages

  • Silvia Helena Barcellos


There is considerable debate in the literature about the effects of immigration on workers' labor market outcomes. This paper presents a new approach to the analysis of the relationship between immigration and wages based on a panel vector autoregression (VAR). The VAR analysis of a panel of US states shows that immigration does not have a significant effect on wages or internal migration. By contrast, wages do affect immigration: a 10 percent increase in wages causes up to a 20 percent increase in immigrant inflow. The effect is strongest for low-skill immigrants while it is small and insignificant for high-skill immigrants.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 755.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:755
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  1. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Joseph Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcome of Less-Skilled Natives," Working Papers 636, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Borjas, George J & Freeman, Richard B & Katz, Lawrence, 1996. "Searching for the Effect of Immigration on the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 246-51, May.
  4. Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  6. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. 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.
  8. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
  10. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  11. Kristin Butcher & David Card, 1991. "Immigration and Wages: Evidence From the 1980's," Working Papers 661, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  13. Kennan,J. & Walker,J.R., 2003. "The effect of expected income on individual migration decisions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Mary Kritz & Douglas Gurak, 2001. "The impact of immigration on the internal migration of natives and immigrants," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 133-145, February.
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