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Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Education

Abstract

I investigate the effect of the 1997 Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) on employment and earnings of undocumented foreign-born men from Nicaragua, Cuba, Guatemala, and El Salvador who were eligible for amnesty under the Act. I find that NACARA had a modest effect on the employment of these men; raised their real wage by 3 percent and weekly earnings by 4 percent. Estimates show that NACARA raised the wage of the target group without a high school degree by a statistically insignificant 1 percent and of those with high school or higher education by a statistically significant 5 percent.

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