NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The Winners and Losers of Immigration: Evidence from Linked Historical Data

Joseph Price, Christian vom Lehn, Riley Wilson

NBER Working Paper No. 27156
Issued in May 2020
NBER Program(s):Development of the American Economy, Labor Studies

Using recent innovations in linking historical U.S. Census data, we study the economic impacts of immigration on natives, including their geographic migration response. We find that the arrival of foreign immigrants significantly increases both native out-migration and in-migration. Accounting for this selective geographic migration, we find smaller economic impacts of immigration for native workers than previous work, including no positive impact on worker incomes. We present evidence of significant “losers” from increased immigration, namely workers who appear to be displaced by immigrant labor and move out of their local labor market, whereas the workers who remain see significant benefits. We also find that younger and lowerskilled workers are “losers” from increased immigration, whereas older and higher-skilled workers are “winners.”

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27156

 
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