Immigration and labor market outcomes in the native elderly population

 
By

December 14, 2009

Economic theory predicts that in the short run, increased immigration in a competitive job market should lower workers’ wages.  Studies have been less conclusive, however, leading to research on how immigration affects workers with different skills or in different demographic categories.

A 2008 Harvard University study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, “Immigration and Labor Market Outcomes in the Native Elderly Population,” focuses on the effect of immigration on labor market outcomes for native elderly workers.

Tags: aging, poverty, retirement, Native American

Using data from 1960 to 2000 U.S. censuses and the post-1994 current population surveys, the researcher examined how the immigrant population affects wages, employment and retirement among the older workforce. Key findings include:

  • Immigration decreases the wages, reduces labor supply and increases retirement of competing elderly native workers.
  • A 10% immigration-induced increase in the size of the workforce lowers the employment rate of elderly men by 7%.  This is in comparison with an estimated decline of between 3% and 4% for the workforce between the age of 18 and 64.
  • A 10% immigration-induced increase in the size of the workforce increases the probability of elderly men receiving Social Security Benefits by 6%.

Tags: aging, Native American, poverty, retirement

 

We welcome feedback. Please contact us here.

Citation: Borjas, George, J; "Immigration and Labor Market Outcomes in the Native Elderly Population", National Bureau of Economic Research, 2008, PDF.