Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program

52 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2014

See all articles by Carlo Devillanova

Carlo Devillanova

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Francesco Fasani

Queen Mary, University of London

Tommaso Frattini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

This paper estimates the causal effect of the prospect of legal status on the employment outcomes of undocumented immigrants. Our identification strategy exploits a natural experiment provided by the 2002 amnesty program in Italy that introduced an exogenous discontinuity in eligibility based on date of arrival. We find that the prospect of legal status significantly increases the employment probability of immigrants that are potentially eligible for the amnesty relative to other undocumented immigrants. The size of the estimated effect is equivalent to about two thirds of the increase in employment that undocumented immigrants in our sample normally experience in their first year after arrival in Italy. These findings are robust to several falsification exercises.

Keywords: Illegal immigration, Natural experiment, Legalization

JEL Classification: F22, J61, K37

Suggested Citation

Devillanova, Carlo and Fasani, Francesco and Frattini, Tommaso, Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program (June 2014). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 367. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462156 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462156

Carlo Devillanova

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Francesco Fasani

Queen Mary, University of London ( email )

Tommaso Frattini (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

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