Research

Effects of Increased Immigration Enforcement on Citizens' Self-Employment (JMP)

The recent increase in interior immigration enforcement in the U.S. has reduced the number of low skilled workers by increasing deportations of undocumented immigrants. In this paper, I study how these immigration enforcement policies affect the self-employment shares of citizens. I examine the impact of four immigration enforcement policies, each implemented with a staggered roll-out across the U.S. and ending up with different adoption levels. I implement a Difference-in-Differences strategy and an event-study specification using data from 2005 to 2014 from the American Community Survey. I find that increased immigration enforcement decreased the share self-employed among male and female citizens of the United States, which is consistent with predictions that undocumented immigrants are complementary to self-employed citizens. The reduction of citizens' self-employment is concentrated among high school graduates. There is one exception, increased enforcement led to an increase in self-employment shares among male Hispanic citizens, which implies that the undocumented workers were substitutes for self-employed Hispanic citizens. To enable comparison with previous studies, I estimate the effects of immigration enforcement programs on citizens’ employment. I find that employment verification mandates decrease wage and salary employment shares of citizens, therefore, the mandates are not causing the self-employed to switch into wage and salary employment.

Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Duration in Mexico City

This paper studies the impact of establishing an Unemployment Insurance (UI) in a developing country. Mexico City was the first city in Mexico to provide formal workers government funded unemployment benefits. With this setting I study the effects of establishing an UI program in a developing country with high informal activity levels and a weak safety net on unemployment duration. Does UI improves job search and decrease unemployment duration? Or does it incentivize longer unemployment spells? I estimate a Differences-in-Differences unemployment duration model, in which the reemployment probability can vary before and after introducing UI using other Mexican cities as a control group. I find no evidence of an effect on unemployment duration with the introduction of UI. Even workers with low levels of education, who might have the lowest reservation wages do not have a higher probability of staying unemployed with the introduction of UI. The explanation to these null effects can be that UI the benefits levels are low and that the program requires users to prove they are looking for a job, increasing the probability of finding a job.


Pension Rights, Employment and the Gender Wealth Gap, with Markus Grabka and Eva Sierminska