Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The effect of immigration on inequality

Is not that much, according to a new paper by David Card over at NBER. He finds that:
the impacts of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives are small. The effects on overall wage inequality (including natives and immigrants) are larger, reflecting the concentration of immigrants in the tails of the skill distribution and higher residual inequality among immigrants than natives. Even so, immigration accounts for a small share (5%) of the increase in U.S. wage inequality between 1980 and 2000.
One of the best tables in the paper is the first, which looks at immigration in the U.S. by city:

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