Panel Paper: States Taking the Reins? Attitudes, Employment Verification Requirements, and Immigration

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Field (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Shalise Ayromloo, Benjamin Feigenberg and Darren Lubotsky, University of Illinois, Chicago

We study how the passage of state-level legislation mandating the use of E-Verify, an electronic employee work eligibility verification system developed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has affected local migration flows, formal and informal labor market participation of undocumented residents, and labor market outcomes for native workers. In order to investigate how E-Verify usage has affected patterns of immigration and labor market participation, we employ state-by-year and county-by-year panel data constructed using American Community Survey and Quarterly Workforce Indicators data files, in conjunction with panel data on E-Verify queries and Mexican household survey data on U.S.-Mexico migration flows. We employ two complementary research designs in our analysis. The first research design builds on the existing literature and exploits state-by-year variation in E-Verify passage in a multi-state difference-in-differences estimation framework. The second research design employs previously unused within-state variation across counties and within-county variation over time in the predicted labor market coverage of E-Verify legislation. This county-level variation in E-Verify coverage is a function of cross-county variation in the baseline firm size distribution along with variation in the specific firm sizes covered by E-Verify mandates (firm size coverage varies both across states and over time within states). We anticipate that results will provide a clearer picture of the aggregate effects of E-Verify technology and the associated locational and labor market spillovers.