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How Middle-Skilled Workers Adjust to Immigration: The Role of Occupational Skill Specificity

Damiano Pregaldini and Uschi Backes-Gellner

No 193, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: We investigate how the adjustment of middle-skilled workers to immigration depends on the specificity of their occupational skill bundles. We combine the 2002 opening of the Swiss labor market to EU workers with register data on the location and occupation of these workers. In comparison to previous studies, we find counterintuitive results: the sudden inflow of EU workers increased the employment of native middle-skilled workers with specific occupational skills and, at the same time, reduced their occupational mobility. These results can be explained by the inflow of EU workers reducing existing skill gaps and alleviating firms' capacity restrictions, thereby improving job-worker matches and reducing the need for occupational changes of native workers.

Keywords: migration; cross-border workers; occupational skill specificity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J15 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-int, nep-mig, nep-tid and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iso:educat:0193

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