Lessons from Historical Immigration Policy
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Chair: Leah Platt Boustan, Princeton University
Adaptation of Native Labor and Capital to Mass Migration: Evidence From the Immigration Act of 1924
AbstractDuring the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1913), the US economy absorbed 30 million immigrants. The foreign-born share of the male labor force in the US reached 23 percent by 1910, and was as high as 50 percent in some metropolitan areas. Immigrant inflows slowed suddenly in the 1920s when the US government imposed strict immigration quotas favoring immigrants from Northern and Western Europe over immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. These swings in national immigration flows differentially affected some local areas more than others depending on the country-of-origin composition of the local immigrant population. We use both the rise and fall of immigrant flows to examine how native-born workers adapted to immigrant-induced changes in labor supply. We focus on two potential margins of adjustment: propensity to finish high school in order to differentiate oneself from immigrant labor and propensity to move out of the local area altogether. We also study how firms adjusted their capital investment in response to changes in immigrant inflows.
Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy: Evidence From the Mexican Bracero Exclusion
AbstractAn important class of active labor market policy has received little impact evaluation: immigration barriers intended to raise wages and employment by shrinking labor supply. Theories of endogenous technical advance raise the possibility of limited or even perverse impact. We study a natural policy experiment: the exclusion of almost half a million Mexican 'bracero' farm workers from the United States to improve farm labor market conditions. With novel archival data we measure state-level exposure to exclusion, and model the labor-market effect in the absence of technical change. We reject such an effect and fail to reject a null effect.
University of Colorado-Boulder
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
University of California-Davis
- J7 - Labor Discrimination
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy