Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates

63 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2014

See all articles by Suresh Naidu

Suresh Naidu

Columbia University

Yaw Nyarko

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics

Shing-Yi B. Wang

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

In 2011, a reform in the United Arab Emirates allowed any employer to renew a migrant's visa upon contract expiration without written permission from the initial employer. We find that the reform increased incumbent migrants' earnings and firm retention of these workers. This occurs despite an increase in employer transitions, and is driven by a fall in country exits. While the outcomes of workers already in the United Arab Emirates improved, our analysis suggests that the reform decreased demand for new migrant workers and lowered their earnings. These results are consistent with a model in which the reform reduces the monopsony power of firms.

Suggested Citation

Naidu, Suresh and Nyarko, Yaw and Wang, Shing-Yi B., Worker Mobility in a Global Labor Market: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates (August 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20388. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2486338

Suresh Naidu (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Yaw Nyarko

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8928 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

Shing-Yi B. Wang

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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