Native Competition and Low-Skilled Immigrant Inflows

45 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010 Last revised: 11 Sep 2011

See all articles by Brian C. Cadena

Brian C. Cadena

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 8, 2011

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that immigration decisions respond to differences in local labor market conditions by documenting the change in low-skilled immigrant inflows in response to supply increases among the US-born. Using pre-reform welfare participation rates as an instrument for changes in native labor supply, I find that immigrants prefer cities with fewer welfare leavers over cities with larger reform-induced supply shifts. The extent of the selection is substantial: for each additional native woman working in a city as a result of welfare reform, 0.8 fewer female immigrants choose to live and work there. These results provide direct evidence that international migration flows tend to equilibrate returns across US local labor markets.

Keywords: immigration, labor mobility, spatial equilibrium, welfare reform

JEL Classification: J61, J2

Suggested Citation

Cadena, Brian C., Native Competition and Low-Skilled Immigrant Inflows (September 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1619001 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1619001

Brian C. Cadena (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
3034927908 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://spot.colorado.edu/~cadenab/Home.html

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