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The labor market effects of refugee waves: reconciling conflicting results

Clemens, Michael A. and Hunt, Jennifer (2017) The labor market effects of refugee waves: reconciling conflicting results. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1491). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

An influential strand of research has tested for the effects of immigration on natives’ wages and employment using exogenous refugee supply shocks as natural experiments. Several studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effects of noted refugee waves such as the Mariel Boatlift in Miami and post-Soviet refugees to Israel. We show that conflicting findings on the effects of the Mariel Boatlift can be explained by a large difference in the pre- and post-Boatlift racial composition in subsamples of the Current Population Survey extracts. This compositional change is specific to Miami, unrelated to the Boatlift, and arises from selecting small subsamples of workers. We also show that conflicting findings on the labor market effects of other important refugee waves are caused by spurious correlation between the instrument and the endogenous variable introduced by applying a common divisor to both. As a whole, the evidence from refugee waves reinforces the existing consensus that the impact of immigration on average native-born workers is small, and fails to substantiate claims of large detrimental impacts on workers with less than high school

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
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
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J61 - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R2 - Household Analysis > R23 - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2018 12:38
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 04:04
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86582

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