Immigrants’ Effect on Native Workers: New Analysis on Longitudinal Data


Using longitudinal data on the universe of workers in Denmark during the period 1991–2008, we track the labor market outcomes of low-skilled natives in response to an exogenous inflow of low-skilled immigrants. We innovate on previous identification strategies by con-sidering immigrants distributed across municipalities by a refugee dispersal policy in place between 1986 and 1998. We find that an increase in the supply of refugee-country immigrants pushed less educated native workers (especially the young and low-tenured ones) to pursue less manual-intensive occupations. As a result immi-gration had positive effects on native unskilled wages, employment, and occupational mobility.

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 8(2): 1–34

Vox EU, IZA DP No. 8961, CReAM DP No. 07/15, NBER WP No. 19315

Selected Press Coverage:

English/American: The Economist, Washington Post, NY Times, Policy.Mic, HBO, Fusion, Slate, Marginal Revolution, CNBC

Danish/Other European: Zetland, Berlingske,, Politiken,, Science Nordic, Ekonomistas