The Effect of Employer Enrollment in E-Verify on Low-Skilled U.S. Workers

12 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2020

See all articles by Pia M. Orrenius

Pia M. Orrenius

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Madeline Zavodny

University of North Florida; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Agnes Scott College

Abstract

U.S. employers can check whether the workers they hire are legally eligible for employment using E-Verify, a free electronic system run by the federal government. We use confidential data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide the first examination of whether increases in employer enrollment in the E-Verify system affect employment and earnings among workers who are particularly likely to be unauthorized, namely Hispanic non-naturalized immigrants who have not completed high school, and their U.S.-citizen counterparts. We find evidence of negative effects on likely unauthorized immigrant men but positive effects on women. These results are robust to instrumenting for endogenous employer enrollment with state laws that require some or all employers to use the E-Verify system. The results are consistent with a household model of labor supply among unauthorized immigrants.

Keywords: employment eligibility verification, E-Verify, undocumented immigrants, illegal immigrants

JEL Classification: J15, J31, J61

Suggested Citation

Orrenius, Pia M. and Zavodny, Madeline, The Effect of Employer Enrollment in E-Verify on Low-Skilled U.S. Workers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13581, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3674302

Pia M. Orrenius (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( email )

PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States
214-922-5747 (Phone)
214-922-5194 (Fax)

Madeline Zavodny

University of North Florida ( email )

4567 St. Johns Bluff Road, South
Jacksonville, FL 32224-2645
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Agnes Scott College ( email )

United States

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