The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Synthetic Control Method Meets the Mariel Boatlift

43 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Giovanni Peri

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Vasil Yasenov

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab; IZA

Abstract

We apply the Synthetic Control Method to re-examine the effects of the Mariel Boatlift, a large inflow of Cubans into Miami in 1980, first studied by David Card (1990). This method improves on previous studies by choosing a control group so as to best match Miami's labor market features before the Boatlift. We also provide reliable standard errors for the inference. Using data from the larger and more precise May-ORG Current Population Survey (CPS) one finds no significant departure of wages and employment of low-skilled workers between Miami and its control after 1979. The result is robust to several checks.

Keywords: immigration, wages, mariel boatlift, synthetic control method, measurement error

JEL Classification: J3, J61

Suggested Citation

Peri, Giovanni and Yasenov, Vasil, The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Synthetic Control Method Meets the Mariel Boatlift. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10605. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940595

Giovanni Peri (Contact Author)

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)

Vasil Yasenov

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

IZA ( email )

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

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