Brown Bag (Lunch) Seminar: Arriving at the Wrong Time: The Long-term Consequences of Economic Conditions at the Time of Immigration
This paper investigates how economic conditions at the time of immigration shape the economic and social integration of immigrants. For identification, we exploit quotas for family migrants that create long waiting times and make it impossible for these migrants to base their immigration decision on current conditions. A one percentage point higher unemployment rate at arrival lowers employment only slightly but decreases real wage income in the first five years by up to four percent. This is the result of substantial occupational downgrading – immigrants that arrive in worse economic times are stuck in lower quality jobs for up to ten years. In the absence of access to welfare benefits, migrants arriving in times of worse conditions become more reliant on family support. Our results relate to a current discussion in labor economics regarding the long-term consequence of adverse macroeconomic conditions at crucial life-periods.