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International Immigration and Domestic Out-Migrants: Do Natives move to New Jobs or Away from Immigrants

Listed author(s):
  • Mark Partridge


  • Dan Rickman
  • Kamar Ali

Immigration is one of the most emotional topics in the political arena, which is an issue that has not gone unnoticed by economists. Recent studies usually examine sub-national areas to take advantage of the widely varying local concentrations of immigrants. Yet, there is no consensus on the overall local effects of immigration on migration behavior of domestic residents, although there is consensus that immigration has little influence on local area wages (but there is debate about immigration’s influence on national wages). One reason why the regional influence of immigrants is so hard to pin down is the many offsetting economic responses. For example, in response to an influx of recent immigrants, natives and previous immigrants may out-migrate to produce no net effect on total labor supply and, hence, no net effect on local employment or wages. In addition, very little is known about the destinations of native out-migrants. Do they avoid states with greater shares of immigrants, or do they respond to more standard economic measures such as relative growth rates. Using U.S. state-level data, this study examines the effects of recent and past immigration on state-to-state net-migration patterns and on the behavior of domestic state-to-state out-migrants. A key advantage of our migration measures is that we measures of state-to-state migration flows. Thus, we can examine differences across all 1,128 state-to-state migration flows for the lower 48 states. This sample provides considerably more information than the standard approach, which would be analogous to only estimating the 48 state net-migration rates on immigration rates and other control variables. Moreover, state-to-state data allows us to consider whether the domestic out-migrants are moving to states with relatively greater shares of immigrant levels than the origin state, which is an issue that has not been considered in past research. For example, we can answer whether domestic out-migrants are primarily driven by labor market effects or by possible aversion to states with greater shares of immigrants (not just new immigrants).

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p346.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p346
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  1. 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.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  3. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-1268, December.
  6. Kenneth M. Johnson & Daniel T. Lichter, 2008. "Natural Increase: A New Source of Population Growth in Emerging Hispanic Destinations in the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(2), pages 327-346.
  7. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, 06.
  8. 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.
  9. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S., 2003. "The waxing and waning of regional economies: the chicken-egg question of jobs versus people," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 76-97, January.
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