NBER

Jongkwan Lee

Korea Development Institute.
263 Namsejong-ro, Sejong 30149,
South Korea.

E-Mail: kwanlee@kdi.re.kr
Institutional Affiliation: Korea Development Institute

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2019The Labor Market Effects of Mexican Repatriations: Longitudinal Evidence from the 1930s
with Giovanni Peri, Vasil Yasenov: w26399
We examine the labor market consequences of an extensive campaign repatriating around 400,000 Mexicans in 1929-34. To identify a causal effect, we instrument county level repatriations with the existence of a railway line to Mexico interacted with the size of the Mexican communities in 1910. Using individual linked data we find that Mexican repatriations reduced employment of native incumbent workers and resulted in their occupational downgrading. However, using a repeated cross section of county level data, we find attenuated and non-significant employment effects and amplified wage downgrading. We show that this is due to selective in- and out-migration of natives.
September 2017The Employment Effects of Mexican Repatriations: Evidence from the 1930's
with Giovanni Peri, Vasil Yasenov: w23885
During the period 1929-34 a campaign forcing the repatriation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans was carried out in the U.S. by states and local authorities. The claim of politicians at the time was that repatriations would reduce local unemployment and give jobs to Americans, alleviating the local effects of the Great Depression. This paper uses this episode to examine the consequences of Mexican repatriations on labor market outcomes of natives. Analyzing 893 cities using full count decennial Census data in the period 1930-40, we find that repatriation of Mexicans was associated with small decreases in native employment and increases in native unemployment. These results are robust to the inclusion of many controls. We then apply an instrumental variable strategy based on the differential...

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