Panel Paper: Unintended Consequences of Immigration Enforcement: Household Services and High-Skilled Women's Work

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Court 8 (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Andrea Velasquez and Chloe East, University of Colorado, Denver

We examine the spillover effects of enforcement policies on the labor supply of high-skilled citizen women by exploiting the staggered rollout of Secure Communities (SC), a national immigration enforcement policy that led to over 450,000 deportations. Combining data on the timing and location of adoption of SC, with data on labor supply from the American Community Survey over 2005-2014, we implement a difference-in-difference approach with time and location fixed effects. We find that exposure to SC reduced the labor supply of college-educated citizen women, particularly women with young children. Several results suggest that changes in the price of outsourcing household services are driving these results including: 1) SC has a negative effect on the number of low-skilled non-citizen workers in the personal services industry, and a positive effect on wages of workers in this industry; and, 2) there are no effects for high-skilled citizen men or women without children, who are both less likely to outsource these services. This is the first evidence that restrictions on immigration have important unintended consequences on the labor supply of high-skilled women.