AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Three Essays on the Non-Labour Market Impacts of Immigration

by Kah Cheng Kelvin Seah

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: Immigration; Non-Labour Market Impacts; Native Fertility; Academic Achievement; Foreign Teachers; Immigrant Peers
Record ID: 1311075
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4984


This thesis consists of three stand-alone but related empirical studies. Each of them explores how the presence or the arrival of immigrants to a country affects the non-labour market outcomes of residents in that country. The first study (Chapter 2) investigates whether immigration shocks have a causal effect on native fertility patterns. It uses a natural experiment, exploiting the large, unexpected and localised immigration of Cuban nationals to the Miami area in the United States in 1980 in order to examine the fertility consequences for Miami women. Using synthetic control estimators and an extended individual difference-in-differences analysis, the results suggest that low-skilled immigration shocks have a short-term negative impact on the fertility decisions and outcomes of natives. Fertility effects, however, are found to vary by residential tenure. While the immigration shock had a considerable negative impact on the fertility of women living in rented homes, it had practically no effect on those living in owned homes. This differential impact is likely due to the rise in local housing rents accompanying immigration, making childbearing less affordable for those living in rented homes. The second study (Chapter 3) analyses how foreign-born teachers affect the academic achievements of secondary school students in the United States, using data from the 1988 wave of the National Education Longitudinal Study. Contrary to popular belief, results from school fixed effects and within-student between-subject regressions indicate that, overall, foreign teachers do not have an adverse impact on the educational achievement of students. In fact, there is even some evidence that these teachers actually enhance native students' achievement. The overall non-negative effects are driven mainly by the positive effects of foreign White teachers on native students' achievement. The final study (Chapter 4) examines how the presence of immigrant pupils affects the academic achievement of native peers when the parents of immigrants are relatively skilled. To answer this, the peer effects of immigrants from 3 major immigrant-receiving countries – Australia, Canada, and the United States – are evaluated and compared. Using an internationally comparable dataset, results from non-parametric regressions and within-school estimations indicate that the effects of immigrants are dissimilar across the 3 countries. While exposure to immigrant peers has a positive impact on the academic achievements of Australian natives, it has a negative impact on the achievements of Canadian natives. There is little evidence that exposure to immigrant peers has an effect on the achievements of U.S. natives. The result for Canada suggests that even if immigrant students have relatively skilled parents, this does not guarantee that they will have non-adverse impacts on peers' academic outcomes. How immigrants affect their peers is found to depend, as well, and perhaps more importantly, on institutional factors such as the way in which countries…