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The Effect of Legalization on Wages and Health Insurance: Evidence from the National Agricultural Workers Survey

Amy M. G. Kandilov and Ivan Kandilov

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2010, vol. 32, issue 4, 604-623

Abstract: We estimate the effect of legalization on the wages and benefits of foreign-born agricultural workers. Using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, we employ propensity score matching techniques to compare legal permanent residents in the United States with an appropriate control group of undocumented workers. Consistent with previous findings, we show that becoming a legal permanent resident results in a modest wage gain of about 5%. Further, we provide novel evidence that, in addition to higher wages, legalization leads to a significantly higher likelihood of receiving some other form of compensation, such as employer-sponsored health insurance or a monetary bonus.

Date: 2010
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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