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Consequences of Immigrating During a Recession: Evidence from the US Refugee Resettlement Program

Mask, Joshua (2018): Consequences of Immigrating During a Recession: Evidence from the US Refugee Resettlement Program.

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Abstract

I examine long-term employment and wage consequences for refugees who migrate to the United States under poor business cycle conditions. It is difficult to credibly estimate the relationship between initial economic conditions and subsequent labor outcomes for immigrants as most can choose when to migrate. However, estimation is possible for refugees because their arrival dates are exogenously determined through the US Refugee Resettlement Program. For every one percentage point increase in the national unemployment rate at arrival, refugees experience a 3.45% reduction in wages after five years and a 3.65 percentage point reduction in employment after four years.

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