Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State's Unauthorized Immigrant Population?

51 Pages Posted: 9 May 2011

See all articles by Sarah Bohn

Sarah Bohn

Public Policy Institute of California

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Steven Raphael

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Abstract

We test for an effect of Arizona's 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as foreign-born, as non-citizen, and as non-citizen Hispanic. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be compared. We document a notable and statistically significant reduction in the proportion of the Arizona population that is foreign-born and in particular, that is Hispanic noncitizen. The decline observed for Arizona matches the timing of LAWA's implementation, deviates from the time series for the chosen synthetic control group, and stands out relative to the distribution of placebo estimates for the remainder of states in the nation. Furthermore, we do not observe similar declines for Hispanic naturalized citizens, a group not targeted by the legislation. Our results on LAWA's impact on the housing market provide further support for our findings.

Keywords: illegal, unauthorized, undocumented, immigration, Hispanic, Arizona

JEL Classification: J8, J11, J15, J18, J48, J61

Suggested Citation

Bohn, Sarah and Lofstrom, Magnus and Raphael, Steven, Did the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act Reduce the State's Unauthorized Immigrant Population?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5682. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1835322

Sarah Bohn (Contact Author)

Public Policy Institute of California ( email )

500 Washington Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

Magnus Lofstrom

Public Policy Institute of California ( email )

500 Washington Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
+49 228 3894 303 (Phone)
+49 228 3894 210 (Fax)

Steven Raphael

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320

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