Are Skilled Migrants More Protected during Times of Economic Crisis? Evidence from the U.S.

Cristina Bradatan, Texas Tech University

In this study I analyze the effects the 2008 economic crisis had on the economic integration of highly educated immigrants in the United States. The situation described is that of the best situated immigrant group (highly skilled) in a poor context of reception (deep economic crisis). I measure the economic integration by comparing immigrants versus natives’ labor force outcomes (wages and unemployment rates). The results show that racial/ethnic characteristics of the highly skilled foreign born are an important explanatory factor for their economic evolutions through crisis. Overall, the economic depression affected significantly the unemployment rates but not the wages of foreign born skilled workers relatively to the native born from the same educational group. While the recent immigrants had significantly lower wages than the natives before and during the 2008 economic crisis, this difference decreased during the 2008 economic depression.

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Presented in Poster Session 1