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The Abolition of Immigration Restrictions and the Performance of Firms and Workers: Evidence from Switzerland

Andreas Beerli, Jan Ruffner, Michael Siegenthaler, Giovanni Peri

NBER Working Paper No. 25302
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

We study a reform that granted European cross-border workers free access to the Swiss labor market. Our Differences-in-Differences estimations leverage the fact that regions close to the border were affected more intensely and earlier. The greater availability of cross-border workers increased their employment but also wages and possibly employment of highly educated native workers although the new cross-border workers were also highly educated. The reason is a simultaneous increase in labor demand in skill-intensive firms: the reform increased the size, productivity, innovation performance of some incumbent firms, attracted new firms, and created opportunities for natives to pursue managerial jobs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25302

 
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