« Back to Results


Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)

Marriott Marquis, Mission Hills
Hosted By: American Economic Association
  • Chair: Katherine Eriksson, University of California-Davis

A Teacher Likes Having Me in the Class: Are Non-local Students Left Behind?

Jianhao Chen
University of Illinois-Chicago


In this paper, I estimate the effects of teacher preference for teaching local students on non-local student's educational and non-test score outcomes. By using a national representative Chinese middle school survey data and relying on the student-teacher random assignment rule as the identification strategy, the results show that (1) being assigned to teachers who have preference for teaching local students reduces non-local student's subject test scores, compared to those local students, (2) the effects are larger for 9th grade students, comparing to 7th grade, (3) there are insignificant small negative effects on student self-assessment, evaluation of subject usefulness, and also cognitive test scores, (4)the effects on student's non-test outcomes are mixed. It has no effect on emotional control skills or confidence about the future, but reduces non-local students' sense of belonging in the classroom.

The Role of Immigrants in the US Labor Market and Chinese Import Competition

Chan Yu
University of Texas-Austin


I propose a new mechanism through which a local labor market adjusts to China trade shocks: the geographic mobility of immigrants. China trade shocks do not cause natives to move to job opportunities. However, I find that immigrants are more responsive than natives to trade shocks. A $1000 (around 26 percent) increase in import exposure per worker leads to a 2.6 percent decline in the immigrant population whereas a 0.5 percent insignificant decline in the native population. Importantly, immigrant mobility lessens the negative effects of trade shocks on the employment and wages for immobile natives. I show that natives in places with more immigrants experience smaller declines in employment and wages compared to natives in places with fewer immigrants. Overall, immigrants mitigate the negative impact of the trade shocks on native employment by around 35 percent.

Forced Migration and the Educational Attainment of Second and Third Generations

Anica Kramer
University of Bamberg, RWI, and IZA


This paper studies the effects of forced migration on the educational attainment of second
and third generations. Exploring the re-allocation of 8 million expellees to West Germany after World War II using German panel data, the results show that the educational outcomes of the second generation were negatively affected by the displacement of the parental generation. However, the results are driven by individuals whose both parents were expellees and by the higher end of the education distribution. The findings for third-generation expellees are, in fact, on a par with those of natives. Overall, the results of this paper imply that the social and economic costs of displacement are long lasting and go beyond the first,
initially displaced generation.

Poor Voters, Taxation and the Size of the Welfare State

Arnaud Chevalier
Royal Holloway University of London
Benjamin Elsner
University College Dublin
Andreas Lichter
University of Duesseldorf
Nico Pestel
Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)


This paper studies the impact of an increase in the number of poor voters on local public
policy setting. We exploit the sudden arrival of 8 million forced migrants in West Germany
after WWII who were poorer than the local population, eligible for social welfare and had
full voting rights. We show that municipalities responded to this shock with selective tax
raises and shifts in spending from infrastructure to social welfare. Voting data suggests
that these changes were partly driven by the forced migrants’ political influence. We
further document a strong persistence of the effects. The poverty shock altered municipal
redistribution policies for decades and changed the redistribution preferences of the
following generations.

Immigration and Housing Rents: The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Germany

Kathleen Kuerschner Rauck
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
Michael Kvasnicka
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg


We study the impact of the 2015 mass arrival of refugees to Germany on housing rents. Using data on county-level refugee populations and offers of flats for rent from Germany's leading online property broker ImmobilienScout24, we find strong and robust evidence in DiD and IV regressions that refugee immigration adversely affected rental price growth. Housing fewer refugees in group quarters attenuated this effect. Regional effect heterogeneity by crime prevalence, neighborhood characteristics and local exposure to refugee reception centers suggests that demand for residential segregation and perceptions of refugee immigration as a (source of) disamenity are major drivers of our findings.

Unauthorized Immigration Regulation and Labor Productivity: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data

Iftekhar Hasan
Fordham University
Incheol Kim
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
Xiaojing Yuan
University of Massachusetts-Lowell


In this study, we examine the influences of undocumented immigrants on labor productivity at the establishment level. Exploiting the 2007 Legal Arizona Worker Act (LAWA) that prohibits businesses from knowingly or intentionally hiring unauthorized aliens as a plausibly exogenous shock, we find a significant increase in labor productivity of establishments in Arizona compared to those in other states after the passage of the 2007 LAWA. The increase is more pronounced in low-skilled industries and in industries with low labor mobility. We show limited evidence supporting that increased productivity results from production efficiencies as production-related waste little decreases. Rather, establishments in Arizona incur higher incidences of work-related injuries and illnesses. Our results suggest that strong immigration laws increase labor productivity at the expense of labor welfare.
JEL Classifications
  • J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers