Immigration and Occupation in Europe
41 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2011
Date Written: October 1, 2010
In this paper we analyze the effect of immigrants on natives’ job specialization in Western Europe. We test whether the inﬂow of immigrants changes employment rates or the chosen occupation of natives with similar education and age. We ﬁnd no evidence of the ﬁrst and strong evidence of the second: immigrants take more manual-routine type of occupations and push natives towards more abstract complex jobs, for a given set of observable skills. We also ﬁnd some evidence that this occupation reallocation is larger in countries with more ﬂexible labor laws. As abstract-complex tasks pay a premium over manual-routine ones, we can evaluate the positive effect of such reallocation on the wages of native workers. Accounting for the total change in Complex/Non Complex task supply from natives and immigrants we ﬁnd that immigration does not change much the relative compensation of the two types of tasks but it promotes the specialization of natives into the ﬁrst type.
Keywords: immigration, task specialization, European labor markets
JEL Classification: J24, J31, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation