Restricting employment of low-paid immigrants: A general equilibrium assessment of the social welfare implications for legal U.S. wage-earners

Peter Bishop Dixon, Maureen Rimmer, Bryan W Roberts

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    Abstract

    This paper builds on earlier work that used a general-equilibrium model to show that reducing employment of unauthorized immigrants in the United States through a tighter border-security policy lowers the average income of legal residents. Here we exploit further the detail available in the general-equilibrium model to look at distributional effects, recognizing that the policy increases wage rates for low-paid legal workers. We assess the social welfare effect on legal workers using a constant elasticity of substitution social welfare function. We contrast our general-equilibrium approach to immigration analysis with the more commonly used partial-equilibrium, econometric approach.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)639 - 652
    Number of pages14
    JournalContemporary Economic Policy
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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