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Do Immigrants Compete with Natives in the Greek Labour Market? Evidence from the Skill-Cell Approach Before and During the Great Recession

Chletsos, Michael and Roupakias, Stelios (2016): Do Immigrants Compete with Natives in the Greek Labour Market? Evidence from the Skill-Cell Approach Before and During the Great Recession.

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Abstract

This study applies the skill-cell approach introduced by Borjas (2003) in order to identify the causal impact of immigration on the employment opportunities of resident workers, using data from two different samples, namely two waves of the Census of Population (1991 and 2001) and the Greek Labour Force Survey (1998-2015). Grouping workers in three education and eight experience classes at the national level, we find small adverse effects on the employment outcomes of natives, that are generally not sensitive to alternative education and experience classifications and when accounting for the effective experience of immigrants. However, as for the period between 1998 and 2015, our findings appear to be driven by the negative influence of immigration ascertained in the sub-period during the Great Recession. Remarkably, there is some evidence of complementarity when the pre-recession period (1998- 2007) is considered. The less-skilled natives, appear to be the group of workers which is more vulnerable to immigration. Our results also indicate that the Greek economy has the capacity to accommodate large immigration flows in the long-run, without significant effects. Finally, contrary to earlier studies, we do not find evidence consistent with the idea that migrants push natives towards complex, language-intensive tasks.

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