NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Labor Market Effects of Opening the Border: Evidence from Switzerland

Andreas Beerli, Giovanni Peri

NBER Working Paper No. 21319
Issued in July 2015, Revised in May 2018
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

Between 1999 and 2004 Switzerland opened its border region (BR) to cross-border workers (CBW), who are foreign residents commuting to Switzerland for work. In this paper, we exploit the timing of implementation and the fact that CBW commute almost exclusively to municipalities close to the border to estimate the effect of this policy on foreign labor supply and on native labor market outcomes, using a difference-in-difference approach. We find that opening the border to CBW increased their employment within 20 minutes of commuting time from the border by four to five percentage points. The increased inflow was constituted of highly-educated workers and it was associated with an increase in wages for highly-educated Swiss workers. Native highly-educated workers became more likely to fill top managerial positions after the liberalization. Moreover, we find increases in wages, employment and firm-creation, especially in high-skilled manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services, which help explain the positive wage effects of CBW on high skilled natives.

download in pdf format
   (1102 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21319

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Ottaviano and Peri w12497 Rethinking the Effects of Immigration on Wages
Borjas w9755 The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market
Peri and Yasenov w21801 The Labor Market Effects of a Refugee Wave: Applying the Synthetic Control Method to the Mariel Boatlift
Nevo and Wong w21318 The Elasticity of Substitution Between Time and Market Goods: Evidence from the Great Recession
Hong and McLaren w21123 Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us