Undocumented immigration and host-country welfare: Competition across segmented labor markets.

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Thomas J. Carter

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In this paper’s model, undocumented workers are endogenously sorted into secondary labor markets. When further illegal immigration occurs, some new migrants follow their fellows into already migrant-dominated jobs, lowering migrant wages and raising real incomes of host-country labor and capital. Some submarkets switch from employing legal workers to employing migrants, lowering demand for and wages of legal workers. Undocumented immigration is Pareto-improving when enforcement reserves primary-sector jobs for legal workers. Pareto-dominant policies target the number of migrant-dominated submarkets, not the number of migrants. This appears consistent with U.S. enforcement practices. The effects of deportations, employer sanctions, and amnesties are explored.


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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.