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The Economic Effect of Immigration Policies: Analyzing and Simulating the U.S. Case

Andri Chassamboulli, Giovanni Peri

NBER Working Paper No. 25074
Issued in September 2018
NBER Program(s):The Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program, The Labor Studies Program

In this paper we analyze the economic effects of changing immigration policies in a realistic institutional set-up, using a search model calibrated to the migrant flows between the US and the rest of the world. We explicitly differentiate among the most relevant channels of entry of immigrants to the US: family-based, employment-based and undocumented. Moreover we explicitly account for earning incentives to migrate and for the role of immigrant networks in generating job-related and family-related immigration opportunities. Hence, we can analyze the effect of policy changes in each channel, accounting for the response of immigrants in general equilibrium. We find that all types of immigrants generate higher surplus for US firms relative to natives, hence restricting their entry has a depressing effect on job creation and, in turn, on native labor markets. We also show that substituting a family-based entry with an employment-based entry system, and maintaining the total inflow of immigrants unchanged, job creation and natives' income increase.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25074

 
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