Spatial Heterogeneity and the Wage Curve Revisited

Most “wage curve” studies ignore the geography of local labor markets. However, when a local labor market is in close proximity of other labor markets, a local shock that increases unemployment may not lead to lower pay rates if employers fear outward migration of their workers. Hence, the unemployment elasticity of pay will be greater, the more isolated the local labor market is. Wages are also expected to be higher in regions that interact strongly with other regions. These hypotheses are confirmed by means of an estimation of wage curves with data for 327 regions of western Germany over the period 1990–1997.

Longhi S., Nijkamp P., Poot J. (2006) Spatial Heterogeneity and the Wage Curve Revisited, Journal of Regional Science, 46 (4) 707-731.

A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages

In our increasingly interconnected and open world, international migration is becoming an important socioeconomic phenomenon for many countries. Since the early 1980s, many studies about the impact of immigration on host labour markets have been undertaken. Borjas (2003) noted that the estimated effect of immigration on the wage of native workers varies widely from study to study and sometimes even within the same study. In addition, these effects cluster around zero. Such a small effect is a rather surprising outcome, given that in a closed competitive labour market an increase in labour supply may be expected to exert a downward pressure on wages. We revisit this issue by applying meta‐analytic techniques to a set of 18 papers, which altogether generated 348 estimates of the percentage change in the wage of a native worker with respect to a 1 percentage point increase in the ratio of immigrants over native workers. While many studies in our database employ US data, estimates are also obtained from Germany, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Austria, Israel and Australia. Our analysis shows that results vary across countries and are inter alia related to the type of modelling approach. Technical issues such as publication bias and quality of the estimates are addressed as well.

Longhi S., Nijkamp P., Poot J. (2005) A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages, Journal of Economic Surveys, 19 (3) 451-477.