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Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy: Evidence from the Mexican Bracero Exclusion

Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis () and Hannah M. Postel

No 23125, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: There has been little rigorous evaluation of immigration barriers intended to improve domestic terms of employment by shrinking the workforce. We study one such barrier, a policy change that excluded almost half a million Mexican bracero seasonal agricultural workers from the United States. Using novel data to measure state-level exposure to the policy, we reject the wage effect of bracero exclusion predicted by theory in the absence of induced technical change. We fail to reject the hypothesis that exclusion did not affect U.S. agricultural wages or employment. Important mechanisms include adoption of less labor-intensive technologies and shifts in crop mix.

JEL-codes: F22 J08 J38 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-mig
Date: 2017-02
Note: DAE LS
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Published as Michael A. Clemens & Ethan G. Lewis & Hannah M. Postel, 2018. "Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy: Evidence from the Mexican Bracero Exclusion," American Economic Review, vol 108(6), pages 1468-1487.

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Journal Article: Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy: Evidence from the Mexican Bracero Exclusion (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy: Evidence from the Mexican Bracero Exclusion (2017) Downloads
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