Does Immigration Drive Down Wages?

The answer is no. A new study reports what many, including the Federal Reserve of Dallas, have been saying all along. If you like academic papers, you can read the whole thing here. Bottom line:

Using our estimates and Census data we find that immigration (1990-2006) had small negative effects in the short run on native workers with no high school degree (-0.7%) and on average wages (-0.4%) while it had small positive effects on native workers with no high school degree (+0.3%) and on average native wages (+0.6%) in the long run.


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12 responses to “Does Immigration Drive Down Wages?”

  1. DKC says:

    I can personally debunk that theory. My lawn guy was charging me $50. Had an illegal knock on my door offered $30. I said OK. My next door neibor on each side have made the switch as well. My blond hair, blue eyed former yard guy is now lowering from $50 to $35 to try to get back neiborhood business. And I am just one in a million examples. The Federal Reserve of Dallas is fooling you!!!

  2. Trey Garrison says:

    Competition lowers prices. How is that a bad thing? I mean, you’re profiting from it.

  3. DKC says:

    Didn’t say I wasn’t profiting. Just making a point. Viva la Mexico

  4. Andrew says:

    DKC’s isn’t profiting so much from it. Isn’t that a bad thing for him?

  5. Tey says:

    Using my estimates and Census data, I find that Elvis had negative effects in the short run on native workers with no peanut butter and bannana sandwiches(-0.7%) and on pork chops (-0.4%) while it had small positive effects on native workers with no peanut butter and bannana sandwiches (+0.3%) and on average native wages (+0.6%) in the long run.

    Seriously, when your opening statement contains the phrase “using our estimates”, then hard conclusions are thrown right out the window.

  6. Andrew says:

    I mean DKC’s lawn guy…

  7. Emilio Velasquez, Jr. says:

    But you see, Señor DKC, Señor Wick is right. The difference between the $35 and the $30 is the small negative effect in the short run as the study says. And when the gabacho lowers his price to $30, there will then be no negative effect at all! Plus, when we send our money home, you are inspired to make even MORE money to replace it! It is all good!

    Now, where are our cabras?


  8. DZ says:

    Wow, Tey, I am sure glad you analyzed section 3 of the paper and dismissed all of the previous economics literature the “estimates” are based on. Maybe you can help gather hard data by interviewing every single illegal immigrant out there to find out their impact on the labor situation – otherwise we’ll have to rely on “estimates”. Or maybe you can learn about how economic research is done before dismissing it based on a single word used in a summary.

    But I will take a pork chop!

  9. AS says:

    DKC, Mr. Blond hair blue eyes guy had lots of opportunities – free public education, a government that let’s him choose what career he wants, and he chooses to cut lawns for a living, well, what did he expect – Tenure?

    Yesterday minimum wage increased, and DMN ran an article about all the people who still couldn’t make it. My question, who ever said that aiming for the bottom rung meant life would be easy? Get a second job.

  10. wja4507 says:

    There is a difference between illegal immigration and legal immigration, right? The knee-jerk conversation always assumes illegal. At any rate, if the study is accurate, then wouldn’t the absence of immigration have no affect prices? Or would it be a good effect? If the immigrants account for a small price increase in the long-run, isn’t that saying that immigration raises prices? Seems to counter the argument that immigrants do jobs we won’t do b/c they pay less than we’re willing to accept.

  11. Shay says:

    Well it certainly may not have an effect on wages (if you buy that theory), but it certainly effects our taxes..when our taxes go to pay for illegal immigrants healthcare and education!

  12. Amber Lamb says: