Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, Greg Wright, 18 November 2010

Manufacturing production and employment in the US has been in decline over recent decades, often with the finger pointed at immigration and globalisation. This column presents evidence from the US between 2000 and 2007 to show that immigrant and native workers are more likely to compete against offshoring than against each other. Moreover, offshoring's productivity gains can spur greater demand for native workers.

Assaf Razin, 06 November 2010

The growing voice of skilled workers and the retired in industrialised countries is calling out for politicians to further restrict immigration in order to allay fears of stealing jobs and scrounging off benefits. This column explores the political process behind constraints to migration and describes the importance of cross-country coordination in a post-crisis world of ageing generous welfare states.

Francesco D'Amuri, Giovanni Peri, 31 October 2010

Several studies find that immigrants do not harm the wages and job prospects of native workers. This column seeks to explain these somewhat counterintuitive findings by emphasizing the scope for complementarities between foreign-born and native workers. Examining 14 European countries from 1996 to 2007, it finds that immigrants often supply manual skills, leaving native workers to take up jobs that require more complex skills – even boosting demand for them. Immigrants replace “tasks”, not workers.

Bárbara Castelletti, Jeff Dayton-Johnson, Ángel Melguizo, 19 March 2010

The economic effects of immigration are often controversial. This column introduces the preliminary findings from a new database on immigration in Latin America and the Caribbean. While immigrants do not seem to displace domestic workers, they are often working in sectors unsuitable for their skills. Better policy could help the destination countries as well as the immigrants themselves.

Giovanni Peri, Francisco Requena-Silvente, 26 January 2010

Immigration is increasingly recognised by economists as a key factor in promoting trade. This column presents evidence from Spain suggesting that doubling the number of immigrants leads to a 10% increase in exports to their country of origin. The effect is even bigger for countries which are culturally different. This is an important and rarely considered benefit from immigration.

Tito Boeri, 23 June 2009

Public opinion is turning against migration during the recession, as generous European welfare states make migrants a potential fiscal burden. This column warns against the excessively exclusionary solutions to which voters are turning and suggests decoupling migration and the welfare state.

Valerie Johnson, 02 June 2008

As the United Kingdom debates immigration and assimilation, what does it mean to be British? This column explores the formation of British identity during the early twentieth century, when British multinational enterprises constituted an informal empire engaging many foreign cultures. History shows a far more complicated sense of “Britishness” than some assume.

Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda, 27 May 2008

Provided that the income gap between poor sending countries and rich destination countries continues to be very pronounced and transport and communication costs have drastically declined compared to one hundred years ago, it appears that restrictive migration policies are key determinants of the limited flows actually observed. The authors of CEPR DP6835 examine the process through which individual attitudes are mapped into these immigration policy outcomes in democratic societies.

Drew Keeling, 12 May 2008

Debates about immigration policy often assume that legal barriers are crucial to preventing massive influxes of immigrants. This column argues that, historically, most potential immigrants chose not to relocate, even when the cost of immigrating fell.

Giuseppe Bertola, 02 May 2008

There is significant public concern that globalisation heralds the deindustrialisation of rich economies. This column explains why offshoring and immigration are signs of economic vitality and manufacturing strength, not weakness. The key is to address distributional concerns so that all benefit from globalisation.

Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, 17 April 2008

Immigration of less educated, younger Eastern Europeans and North Africans to Western Europe would economically benefit its educated and older population. This column, summarising research on immigration effects in Germany, suggests that, to fully reap the benefits from immigration, Western Europe should make its labour markets more competitive and accessible to outsiders (immigrants) and its welfare state more selective.

Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, Francesco D'Amuri, 10 March 2008

Germany has the largest number of foreign individuals in Europe, and foreign workers represent around 10% of the total labour force. The authors of CEPR DP6736 measure the effects of the substantial immigration of the 1990s on the Western German labour market and find that it had no adverse effects on native wages and employment levels, but instead led to adverse effects on previous immigrants.

Samuel Bentolila, Juan Dolado, Juan F Jimeno, 12 January 2008

Spain’s inflation-less drop in unemployment is due in large part to its immigration boom. If immigrants’ labour-supply behaviour comes closer to that of natives and inflation remains above target, a deeper slowdown or increasing immigration flows will be needed to bring it down.

Samuel Bentolila, Juan Dolado, Juan F Jimeno, 18 December 2007

Over the period 1995-2006, Spanish unemployment decreased by almost 12 percentage points, from 22% to 8%, while inflation remained roughly constant at around 3 - 4%, resulting in a flatter Phillips curve than in any other euro area country. The authors of CEPR DP6604 argue that this favourable evolution is largely due to the impact of the huge rise in the immigration rate, from 1% of the population in 1995 to 9.3% in 2006, on the labour market.

Giovanni Peri, 20 November 2007

Research on US data shows that high immigration cities experienced higher wage and housing price growth. Immigration had a positive productivity effect on natives overall, but important distributional effects. Highly educated natives enjoyed the largest benefits while the less educated did not gain (but did not lose much either).

Juan Dolado, 29 June 2007

Spain’s new immigration policy is a step forward. An even better policy would be a system of temporary (three-year) work visas that were not tied to a specific job.



CEPR Policy Research