THE EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION ON THE LOW-SKILLED LABOR FORCE IN THE US

Author: Joshua G Silver Faculty Mentors: Professor James DeVault, Professor Matthew Larsen, Department: Economics Institution: Lafayette College, 730 High Street Easton PA 18042

Using data from the US Census’s American Community Survey and Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, I estimate the impact of low-skilled immigrants on the employment of low-skilled native born workers in the non-tradable sector in the US. Specifically, I look at industries such as mining, construction, transportation, farming, fishing and forestry, maintenance, and extraction. These industries are the least vulnerable with respect to outsourcing (i.e. “shipping jobs overseas”). Therefore, a change in employment in these sectors should result from a change in the domestic labor supply rather than from labor being outsourced. The data are separated into foreign born and native born, and they are further separated by country of origin, educational attainment, and age of worker. I will use a difference-in-differences model in order to determine the effects that low-skilled immigrants have on the low-skilled American workers. In order to do that, there will be a control group and a treatment group. The control group consists of Texas and South Dakota. The treatment group consists of Arizona and Georgia. These states are non-contiguous and have similar characteristics in terms of industries and labor composition, but the treatment group recently had severe immigration reforms passed while the control group did not. The immigration reforms decreased the flows of immigrants into the treatment states relative to the control states. The paper provides guidance for future immigration policy in the US, for it shows the effects of immigration on the US labor force. Understanding these effects can lead to more effective and accurate policy reforms. My testable hypothesis is that the presence of low-skilled immigrants does not have an effect on the employment of low-skilled native born workers.


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Joshua Silver

Institution: Lafayette College

Type: Oral

Subject: Economics

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Oral 5
Date/Time: Fri 9:00am-9:20am
Location: Fogelman Classroom Building 131
List other presenters in this same room and session