Essays on Migration and Labour Markets
University of Southampton
This thesis explores the relationships between immigration and labour mar-
kets. The work consists of three empirical papers that examine particular aspects
of this relationship.
The first paper investigates the hypothesis that immigrants are attracted by a
particular labour market institution, the minimum wage. The empirical analysis
is implemented by assessing the impact that an exogenous increase in the federal
USA minimum wage has on the immigration
ows of low-skilled individuals. The
main findings are that low-wage workers move to States where the growth of the
minimum wage is larger, while high-wage individuals are insensitive to the policy.
The second paper analyses the effects of immigration in the host labour market,
in particular on the mobility of previous residents. The main objective is to
investigate if inflows of recent immigrants determine an out-migration of natives
and earlier immigrants. This is achieved by analysing patterns of internal mi-
gration using information on the local authority of origin and destination and
on the skill level of individuals. The analysis demonstrates that, while UK-born
individuals and recent immigrants move to similar locations, earlier immigrants
are instead displaced, suggesting closer substitutability with the newcomers.
The impact of ethnic networks on employment outcomes is the final topic of the
thesis. The important feature of this study is to examine this effect separately
for immigrants and natives. This is achieved by analysing detailed data on ethnic
enclaves from two Censuses of England and Wales, which are used to construct
an index that captures local interactions. The results show that, for the majority
of immigrant groups, a larger informal network is associated with higher employ-
ment probabilities. For the group of natives, there is no evidence that living in
an enclave is detrimental to employment, and the eect is, at worst, zero.
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