The Labor Market Effects of Immigration and Emigration in OECD Countries

54 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2012

See all articles by Frédéric Docquier

Frédéric Docquier

Université catholique de Louvain; CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Caglar Ozden

World Bank - Research Department

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Abstract

In this paper, we simulate the labor market effects of net immigration and emigration during the 1990's in all OECD countries. To accomplish this, we are the first to employ a comprehensive database of migrant stocks, grouped by education level and country of origin/destination, for the years 1990 and 2000. Due to the much higher international mobility of college graduates, relative to all other individuals, we find that net migration flows are college-intensive, relative to the population of non-migrants. Using the consensus aggregate model of labor demand and supply we simulate the long-run employment and wage effects of immigration and emigration. We use a range of parameter values spanning most of the estimates in the literature. In all cases we find that immigration had a positive effect on the wage of less educated natives. It also increased or left the average native wages unchanged and had a positive or no effect on native employment. To the contrary, emigration had a negative effect on the wage of less educated native workers and it contributed to increase within country inequality in all OECD countries. These results still hold true when we correct for the estimates of undocumented immigrants, for the skill-downgrading of immigrants, when we focus on immigration from non-OECD countries, and when we consider preliminary measures of more recent immigration flows for the period 2000-2007.

Keywords: immigration and emigration, complementarity, schooling externalities, average wage, wage inequality

JEL Classification: F22, J61, J31

Suggested Citation

Docquier, Frédéric and Özden, Çaglar and Peri, Giovanni, The Labor Market Effects of Immigration and Emigration in OECD Countries. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6258. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1981214

Frédéric Docquier (Contact Author)

Université catholique de Louvain ( email )

IRES
Place Montesquieu 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://perso.uclouvain.be/frederic.docquier/

CREAM, Centre for Research on Environmental Appraisal & Management, UK

University of Newcastle
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Çaglar Özden

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/cozden

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

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