Discussion paper

DP9450 South-South migration and the labor market: Evidence from South Africa

Using census data for 1996, 2001 and 2007 we study the labor market effect of immigration to South Africa. The paper contributes to a small but growing literature on the impact of South-South migration by looking at one of the most attractive destinations for migrant workers in Sub--Saharan Africa. We exploit the variation -- both at the district level and at the national one -- in the share of foreign--born male workers across schooling and experience groups over time. At the district level, we estimate that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' employment rates -- and that this effect is more negative for skilled and white South African native workers -- but not on total income. These results are robust to using an instrumental variable estimation strategy. At the national level, we find that increased immigration has a negative and significant effect on natives' total income but not on employment rates. Our results are consistent with outflows of natives to other districts as a consequence of migration, as in Borjas (2006).

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Citation

Mayda, A, G Facchini and M Mendola (eds) (2013), “DP9450 South-South migration and the labor market: Evidence from South Africa”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 9450. https://new.cepr.org/publications/dp9450