chapter 10. worker mobility: migration, immigration, and turnover


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CHAPTER 10. WORKER MOBILITY: MIGRATION, IMMIGRATION, AND TURNOVER. Examine three dimensions of worker mobility Migration (movement of natives within country) Immigration (movement from other countries to U.S.) Turnover (movement from one employer to another). - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • CHAPTER 10. WORKER MOBILITY: MIGRATION, IMMIGRATION, AND TURNOVERExamine three dimensions of worker mobilityMigration (movement of natives within country)Immigration (movement from other countries to U.S.)Turnover (movement from one employer to another)


  • Economic model of worker mobilityPV of Net Benefits =

    where Bjt = $ from new job (j) in year t (meaBot = $ from old job (0) in year t.T = number of years one expects to work at job j.C = the utility lost in the move itself (moving costs)r = discount rate

  • Predictions from modelA worker is more likely to move if:young more years to collect benefitspsychic costs are lowerpeak years for mobility are ages 20-24 (12% move across state border each year)by age 47, mobility rate drops to 4 percent.costs of move are low single versus family effect of second earner in familyLow discount rate (longer time horizon)

  • Predictions from modelNet out-migration from an area will occur if wages fall in that area relative to other areas.

    Short distance moves are more likely than long distance moves (C larger because of transportation costs and increasing cost of gathering information). How will the growth of job information on the internet affect migration?

    If one country has a higher return to education than another, more educated workers will tend to move to the country with the higher return. Family migration decisions based on family income effectstied movers could experience decreased earnings

  • Returns to domestic migrationA study of men and women in their 20s during 1979-85 Migrants who moved for economic reasons had earnings increase 14-18 percent more than earnings of nonmigrants.Migrants who moved for family reasons experienced earnings decrease of 10-15 percent.More often women than menEarnings loss reduced by job search prior to movePower couples more likely to locate in large citiesHelps reduce tied mover costsInterstate migration increases with education levelInformationBreadth of job market e.g. college professor vs carpenter

  • U.S. IMMIGRATION HISTORYPrior to 1920, U.S. had essentially unrestricted immigration.1921, Quota Law passed.set annual quotas based on nationality.reduced immigration from eastern and southern Europe.1965: Immigration and Nationality Actabolished the quota system based on national origin.1990 amendments allow:675,000 people per year.480,000 reserved for family reunification140,000 reserved for immigrants with exceptional skills55,000 reserved for diversity immigrants (immigrants from countries that have not recently provided many immigrants)political refugees are permitted without limit.Officially recorded immigration in 2009: 1.1 millionIllegal immigration estimated at 10-12 million in U.S.

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  • CONSEQUENCES OF IMMIGRATIONImmigrants reduce wages, increase total employment, but reduce employment of natives.

  • CONSEQUENCES OF IMMIGRATIONOther considerations for labor market effects elasticity of labor supply elasticity of labor demand What if immigrants are gross complements to skilled labor? Immigrants may increase labor demand through increased product demand.

    Evaluating immigration policy: labor market effects cost of goods and services. tax revenues versus government services evidence that those with above a high school education contribute more in taxes than they receive in government services; reverse for those with less than a high school education) should immigration policy be driven more by skills, family reunification, diversity?

  • CONSEQUENCES OF IMMIGRATIONBorjas (2003 NBER): immigration lowers the wage of competing workers: a 10 percent increase in supply reduces wages by 3 to 4 percent.

    David Card (2005 NBER): Overall, evidence that immigrants have harmed the opportunities of less educated natives is scant.

    On the question of assimilation, the success of the U.S.-born children of immigrants is a key yardstick. By this metric, post-1965 immigrants are doing reasonably well: second generation sons and daughters have higher education and wages than the children of natives. Even children of the least- educated immigrant origin groups have closed most of the education gap with the children of natives.

  • The importance of assimilation to immigrants.

  • Illegal ImmigrationEvidence that illegal immigrant from Mexico nearly doubles the average wage earned in MexicoEnforcementFencesDeportation of illegalFines for employer

  • Job MobilityDeterminants:compensation packagedeferred payefficiency wagesNon-compete clauseswhat causes firms to offer a package that reduces quits? specific traininglarge hiring/screening costshigh monitoring costs (more on this later)Trade secrets men vs. womenmen tend to receive more specific training and compensation packages that reduce turnover.

  • Worker quit rates are pro-cyclical

  • JOB MOBILITYlarge vs. small firms

    Large firms have greater difficulty monitoring workersTo help reduce monitoring costs, large firms tend to invest more in training, employ higher quality workers, use better capital.much of the reason large firms have lower turnover is that their pensions are designed to penalize quitters.

  • MOBILITY COSTS AND MONOPSONY For any given level of employment (Na + Nb), the firm will equate ME for each type of labor. The more inelastic is labor supply, the greater is the difference between ME and W. The more inelastic is labor supply, the lower the wage rate paid.LESS MOBILE WORKERS ARE PAID LESS.

  • MOBILITY COSTS AND MONOPSONYApplications of monopsony modelMarried versus singleUrban versus ruralWith vs. without childrenMajority versus minority workers.



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