U.S. Imports of Low-Skilled Labor: Restrict or Liberalize?

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Dixon, Peter and Rimmer, Maureen T (2010) U.S. Imports of Low-Skilled Labor: Restrict or Liberalize? In: New Developments in Computable General Equilibrium Analysis for Trade Policy. Gilbert, John, ed. Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, 7 . Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, pp. 103-151.


We use simulations from a detailed dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to study three broad policies toward illegal workers in U.S. employment: supply restriction (tighter border security), demand restriction (prosecution of employers), and legalization through a guest-worker program with a visa tax. From the point of view of the welfare of legal residents, the results strongly favor the third option. In our welfare analysis, we use a six-part decomposition. This identifies effects on the occupational mix of legal employment as a major factor. Throughout the chapter, model results are explained through arguments and diagrams that will be familiar to economists, particularly those working in trade. No familiarity with the underlying CGE model is assumed. Technical details on our labor market assumptions are given in the Appendix.

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Item type Book Section
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/24723
DOI 10.1108/S1574-8715(2010)0000007008
Official URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/books.htm?chapterid=...
ISBN 9780857241412 (print) 9780857241429 (online)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Business
Current > Division/Research > Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS)
Keywords low-skilled labor, employment policies, computable general equilibrium model, trade restriction
Citations in Scopus 7 - View on Scopus
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