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IBS Speaker Series: Unintended Consequences of Immigration Enforcement

October 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

Andrea Velasquez (CU-Denver)

Title: Unintended Consequences of Immigration Enforcement: Personal Services and High-Skilled Women's Work

Abstract: We examine the spillover effects of immigration enforcement policies on the labor supply of high-skilled citizen women. Immigrants disproportionately work in personal services; therefore, enforcement may increase the cost of outsourcing household production. Exploiting the staggered rollout of Secure Communities (SC), a national enforcement policy that led to over 450,000 deportations, we estimate a difference-in-differences model with time and location fixed effects. We find that SC reduced the labor supply of college-educated citizen women, particularly women with young children. Moreover, SC increased wages in the personal services sector, suggesting that increased costs of outsourcing household production is an important mechanism.

Bio: Andrea Velasquez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Colorado Denver. She holds a Ph.D. and MA degree in Economics from Duke University. At Duke she was part of the team that designed and implemented the third wave of the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS). The MxFLS is the first large-scale population-representative longitudinal study that has successfully tracked international migrants in multiple follow-up surveys. Exploiting her knowledge of the MxFLS data, her work has examined the consequences of attrition in longitudinal surveys, as well as, the determinants and decision-making of families that traverse the international border. Another focus of her work has been studying the hidden costs to society of unanticipated shocks in the socioeconomic environment. For example, her work has explored how the labor market behavior, risk attitudes, and human capital accumulation of Mexicans was altered by exposure to the unprecedented surge in violent crime in Mexico, caused by President Calderon’s “War on Drugs”. Her work has additionally investigated the effects of U.S. immigration policies on the labor market outcomes of U.S. citizens. Combining data on the timing and location of immigration enforcement policies, with data on labor supply, her work has found that enforcement policies have lead to significant declines in the employment of high-skilled native workers.

Light lunch will be provided.


October 14, 2019
12:00 pm


CU Population Center
Population Program


IBS 155
Institute of Behavioral Science 1440 15th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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