Abstract of the Week
Posted at 5:15 p.m. on June 21, 2013
Jack Strauss has a paper showing that influxes of Latin American immigrants into a city lead to higher wages and lower poverty for black residents.
“This paper evaluates the impact of immigration on African American wages, unemployment, employment and incarceration rates using a relatively large cross-sectional data-set of 900 cities. An endemic problem potentially plaguing the cross-sectional metro approach to immigration has been endogeneity. Does increased immigration to a city lead to improved economic outcomes, or does a city’s improving labor market attract immigrant inflows? The paper focuses on resolving the endogeneity concerns through a variety of controls, statistical methods and tests. Overall, results strongly support one-way causation from increased immigration including Latinos to higher African American wages and lower poverty. Rising immigration including from Latin America is not responsible for higher Black incarceration rates. ”
Matthew Yglesias: “In other words, complementarities dominate. The marginal working-class black person in the United States has a different employment profile than the marginal Latin American immigrant, and so the more immigrants you have, the more economic opportunities exist locally for black people.”