Tradability and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration

Awarded Scholars:
Gordon Hanson, University of California, San Diego
Ariel Burstein, University of California, Los Angeles
Jonathan Vogel, Columbia University
Project Date:
Jul 2017
Award Amount:

Many scholars have analyzed the effects of immigration on the labor market outcomes of workers. Some have emphasized the effects of immigration on the economy as a whole while others have compared local labor markets that receive many immigrants to those that receive few. Though results have been mixed and researchers have reached different conclusions, both lines of research point to the potential role of local workers' skills and internal migration in adjusting for immigration shocks.

Economists Gordon Hanson, Ariel Burstein, and Jonathan Vogel will explore how the tradability of the goods and services that workers produce affects labor market responses to immigration.  For example, although immigration increases the labor supply for both textile production and housekeeping, textile factories can absorb increased numbers of workers by expanding exports to other regions in a way that housekeepers cannot. The investigators will examine the extent to which labor market adjustment to immigration across tradable occupations differs from adjustments across non-tradable occupations. 


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