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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 2 (Spring 1995)

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The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth

Article Citation

Friedberg, Rachel M., and Jennifer Hunt. 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(2): 23-44.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.2.23

Abstract

The popular belief that immigrants have a large adverse impact on the wages and employment opportunities of the native-born population of the receiving country is not supported by the empirical evidence. A 10 percent increase in the fraction of immigrants in the population reduces native wages by 0-1 percent. Even those natives who are the closest substitutes with immigrant labor do not suffer significantly as a result of increased immigration. There is no evidence of economically significant reductions in native employment. The impact on natives' per capita income growth depends crucially on the immigrants' human capital levels.

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Authors

Friedberg, Rachel M. (Brown U)
Hunt, Jennifer (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

J61: Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
F22: International Migration
E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital
O47: Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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