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The wage effects of immigration and emigration

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  • Docquier, Frederic
  • Ozden, Caglar
  • Peri, Giovanni

Abstract

Immigrants in Rome or Paris are more visible to the public eye than the Italian or French engineers in Silicon Valley, especially when it comes to the debate on the effects of immigration on the employment and wages of natives in high-income countries. This paper argues that such public fears, especially in European countries are misplaced; instead, more concern should be directed towards emigration. Using a new dataset on migration flows by education levels for the period 1990-2000, the results show the following: First, immigration had zero to small positive long-run effect on the average wages of natives, ranging from zero in Italy to +1.7 percent in Australia. Second, emigration had a mild to significant negative long-run effect ranging from zero for the US to -0.8 percent in the UK. Third, over the period 1990-2000, immigration generally improved the income distribution of European countries while emigration worsened it by increasing the wage gap between the high and low skilled natives. These patterns hold true using a range of parameters for the simulations, accounting for the estimates of undocumented immigrants, and correcting for the quality of schooling and/or labor-market downgrading of skills. All results go counter to the popular beliefs about migration, but they are due to the higher skill intensity of both emigration and immigration relative to non-migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Docquier, Frederic & Ozden, Caglar & Peri, Giovanni, 2011. "The wage effects of immigration and emigration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5556, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5556
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    1. Productivity vs immigration
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-04-07 17:58:12

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    Cited by:

    1. E. Podrecca & G. Rossini, 2012. "Wages and international factors’ mobility," Working Papers wp826, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Openness and income: The roles of trade and migration," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 10, pages 309-329, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Dequiedt, Vianney & Zenou, Yves, 2013. "International migration, imperfect information, and brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 62-78.
    4. Andri Chassamboulli & Theodore Palivos, 2014. "A Search‐Equilibrium Approach To The Effects Of Immigration On Labor Market Outcomes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(1), pages 111-129, February.
    5. Mattia Makovec & Ririn S Purnamasari & Matteo Sandi & Astrid R Savitri, 2018. "Intended versus unintended consequences of migration restriction policies: evidence from a natural experiment in Indonesia," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 915-950.
    6. Dramane Coulibaly & Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2018. "Growth-enhancing Effect of Openness to Trade and Migrations: What is the Effective Transmission Channel for Africa?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(4), pages 369-404.
    7. Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2013. "Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 80(2), pages 366-384, October.
    8. Moritz Bonn, 2011. "The Effects of High Skilled Immigration in a Dual Labour Market with Union Wage Setting and Fiscal Redistribution," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201121, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Emigration and wages: The EU enlargement experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 154-163.
    10. Peri, Giovanni & D'Amuri, Francesco, 2010. "Immigration, Jobs and Employment Protection: Evidence from Europe," Institute of European Studies, Working Paper Series qt9rp2j8m1, Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley.
    11. Giovanni Peri & Francesc Ortega, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," Working Papers 115, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    12. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 79-100.
    13. Vincent Fromentin & Olivier Damette & Benteng Zou, 2017. "The Global Economic Crisis and The Effect of Immigrant Workers on Native-born Employment in Europe," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(6), pages 1068-1088, June.
    14. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2014. "First-Come First-Served: Identifying the Demand Effect of Immigration Inflows on House Prices," SERC Discussion Papers 0160, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Verena Löffler, 2021. "Questioning the feasibility and justice of basic income accounting for migration," Politics, Philosophy & Economics, , vol. 20(3), pages 273-314, August.
    16. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
    17. O'Sullivan, Jane N., 2020. "The social and environmental influences of population growth rate and demographic pressure deserve greater attention in ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C).
    18. Courtney Brell & Christian Dustmann, 2019. "Immigration and Wage Growth: The Case of Australia," RBA Annual Conference Papers acp2019-05, Reserve Bank of Australia, revised Jul 2019.
    19. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2012:i:4:p:17567553 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Immigration and Europe’s Demographic Problems: Analysis and Policy Considerations," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(4), pages 03-08, 02.
    21. Alessandra Venturini, 2012. "Methodological Aspects of Research on Flows Human Capital Flows: A survey," RSCAS Working Papers carim2012/01, European University Institute.
    22. Moritz Bonn, 2011. "High Skilled Immigration Policy and Union Wage Setting," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 147-11, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht, revised 27 Aug 2012.
    23. Armando J. Garcia Pires, 2015. "Brain Drain And Brain Waste," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 40(1), pages 1-34, March.
    24. Giovanni Peri, 2011. "The Impact of Immigration on Native Poverty through Labor Market Competition," NBER Working Papers 17570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Giorgio Liotti & Salvatore Villani, 2014. "The equalising power of internal immigration and the desertification process of southern Italy," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(114), pages 51-77.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Policies; Human Migrations&Resettlements; Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement; International Migration; Labor Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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