The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market
NBER Working Paper No. 3069
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the effect of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami labor market, focusing on the wages and unemployment rates of less-skilled workers. The Mariel immigrants increased the population and labor force of the Miami metropolitan area by 7 percent. Most of the immigrants were relatively unskilled: as a result, the proportional increase in labor supply to less-skilled occupations and industries was much greater. Nevertheless, an analysis of wages of non-Cuban workers over the 1979-85 period reveals virtually no effect of the Mariel influx. Likewise, there is no indication that the Boatlift lead to an increase in the unemployment rates of less-skilled blacks or other non-Cuban workers. Even among the Cuban population wages and unemployment rates of earlier immigrants were not substantially effected by the arrival of the Mariels.
Published: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 245-257, (January 1990).