Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?
We use 1980 and 1990 Census data for 119 larger Metropolitan Statistical Areas to examine the effect of skill-group specific immigrant inflows on the location decisions of natives in the same skill group, and on the overall distribution of human capital. To control for unobserved skill-group specific demand factors, our models include lagged mobility flows of natives over the 1970-80 period. We also estimate instrumental variables models that use the fraction of Mexican immigrants in 1970 to predict skill-group specific relative immigrant inflows over the 1980s. Despite wide variation across cities in the size and relative skill composition of immigrant population changes we find no evidence of selective out-migration by natives. We conclude that immigrant inflows exert a direct effect on the relative skill composition of cities: cities that have received relatively unskilled immigrant flows have experienced proportional rises in the size of their unskilled populations.