The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland

92 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2018

See all articles by Andreas Beerli

Andreas Beerli

ETH Zürich

Jan Ruffner

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Michael Siegenthaler

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2018

Abstract

We study a reform that granted European cross-border workers free access to the Swiss labor market and had a stronger effect on regions close to the border. The greater availability of cross-border workers increased foreign employment substantially. Although many cross-border workers were highly educated, wages of highly educated natives increased. The reason is a simultaneous increase in labor demand: the reform increased the size, productivity, and innovation performance of skill-intensive incumbent firms and attracted new firms, creating opportunities for natives to pursue managerial jobs. These effects are mainly driven by firms that reported skill shortages before the reform.

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Suggested Citation

Beerli, Andreas and Ruffner, Jan and Siegenthaler, Michael and Peri, Giovanni, The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland (November 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25302, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3294869

Jan Ruffner

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

Michael Siegenthaler

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

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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