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The contribution of immigration to local labor market adjustment

Amior, Michael (2020) The contribution of immigration to local labor market adjustment. CEP Discussion Papers (1678). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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The US suffers from persistent regional disparities in employment rates. In principle, these disparities should be eliminated by population mobility. Can immigration fulfill this role? Remarkably, since 1960, I show that new migrants from abroad account for 40% of the average population response to these disparities - which vastly exceeds their historic share of gross migratory flows. But despite this, immigration does not significantly accelerate local population adjustment (or reduce local employment rate disparities), as it crowds out the contribution from internal mobility. Indeed, this crowd-out can help account for the concurrent decline in internal mobility. Finally, I attribute the “excess” foreign contribution to a local snowballing effect, driven by persistent local shocks and the dynamics of migrant enclaves. This mechanism raises challenges to the (pervasive) application of migrant enclaves as an instrument for foreign inflows. But rather than abandoning the instrument, I offer an empirical strategy (motivated by my model) to overcome these challenges; and I demonstrate its efficacy.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
E History America > E151 United States (General)
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J61 - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J64 - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R2 - Household Analysis > R23 - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 14:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:20

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