Deportations and Native Employment

10/5/2017 - Professor of Economics Giovanni Peri in the Hutchins Roundup.

In the 1930s, the United States government deported about 500,000 Mexicans and Mexican Americans, reasoning that deportations would give jobs to other Americans and ease the effects of the Great Depression. Examining deportation rates across cities, Jongkwan Lee from the Korea Development Institute, Giovanni Peri from UC Davis and Vasil Yasenov from UC Berkeley find that, on the contrary, the deportation of Mexicans was associated with small decreases in (other) native employment and small wage reductions. They find that the largest employment losses were in jobs that were complementary to the low-skilled jobs taken by Mexicans, suggesting that when companies lost workers, they had to cut other positions. They also argue that the deportations lowered local demand, leading to a reduction in economic activity and job losses.

Read the full story in the Hutchins Roundup.