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THE IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION ON THE LABOR MARKET

Anthony Edo ()

Journal of Economic Surveys, 2019, vol. 33, issue 3, 922-948

Abstract: The literature on the impact of immigration on the labor market is highly controversial. The aim of this paper is to review the existing literature and draw some general conclusions on how wages and employment respond to immigration. Economic studies indicate that the impact of immigration on the average wage and employment of native workers is null or slightly positive. However, because adjustments take time, the immediate labor market effects of unexpected (as opposed to expected) migration episodes can be detrimental. Immigration also can have distributional consequences. In particular, the skill composition of immigrants matters in determining their impact on native labor market outcomes. An inflow of immigrants will tend to reduce the wages of competing native workers (with skills similar to those of the migrants), and increase those of complementary workers (with skills that complement those of immigrants). By affecting the skill composition of the workforce, immigration can create winners and losers among native workers via changes in the wage structure.

Date: 2019
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https://doi.org/10.1111/joes.12300

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