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

81 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2018

See all articles by Andreas Beerli

Andreas Beerli

ETH Zurich

Jan Ruffner

ETH Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Michael Siegenthaler

ETH Zurich - 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. Our Differences-in-Differences estimations leverage the fact that regions close to the border were affected more intensely and earlier. The greater availability of cross-border workers increased their employment but also wages and possibly employment of highly educated native workers although the new cross-border workers were also highly educated. The reason is a simultaneous increase in labor demand in skill-intensive firms: the reform increased the size, productivity, innovation performance of some incumbent firms, attracted new firms, and created opportunities for natives to pursue managerial jobs.

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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 Zurich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

Michael Siegenthaler

ETH Zurich - 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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