“Do Minimum Wages Help or Hurt Low-Skilled Immigrants?” (with Joseph J. Sabia) Industrial Relations 58(2): 275-314.

Working Papers

E-Verify Mandates and Unauthorized Immigrants’ Access to Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Over the last two decades, state and local governments have adopted policies requiring employers to electronically verify (E-Verify) the work eligibility of their new hires, in an effort to disrupt unauthorized immigrants’ access to the formal labor market. These E-Verify mandates previously enjoyed bipartisan support, and the Trump administration has identified a nationwide E-Verify mandate as an immigration policy priority. I show in this paper that state E-Verify mandates are associated with a 5 percentage point reduction in the probability that likely-unauthorized immigrants are employed and a 2 percentage point reduction in the probability that they have employer-sponsored insurance. However, these changes are limited to one period after implementation. In all remaining periods, the relationships are not distinguishable from zero. I show that this pattern can be explained by selective outmigration of otherwise unemployed and uninsured likely-unauthorized immigrants. By preventing unauthorized immigrants from moving to a more favorable policy environment, a nationwide E-Verify mandate would likely further limit unauthorized immigrants’ access to private health insurance.

“The Effect of E-Verify Laws on Crime” (with Andrew Dickinson, Taylor Mackay, and Joseph J. Sabia) IZA Discussion Paper No. 12798.

E-Verify laws, which have been adopted by 23 states, require employers to verify whether new employees are eligible to legally work prior to employment.  In the main, these laws are designed to reduce employment opportunities for unauthorized immigrants, reduce incentives for their immigration, and increase employment and earnings for low-skilled natives. This study examines whether the labor market effects of E-Verify laws generate important spillovers on crime.  Using agency-by-month data from the 2004 to 2015 National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), we find that the enactment of E-Verify is associated with a 5 to 10 percent reduction in property crimes involving Hispanic arrestees, an effect driven by universal E-Verify mandates that extend to private employers.  Supplemental analyses from the Current Population Survey (CPS) suggest that E-Verify-induced increases in employment of low-skilled natives of Hispanic descent and outmigration of younger Hispanics are important channels.  We find no evidence that crime was displaced to nearby jurisdictions without E-Verify or that violent crime was impacted by E-Verify mandates.  Moreover, neither arrests of white nor African American adults were affected by E-Verify laws.  The magnitudes of our estimates suggest that E-Verify laws generated $491 million in social benefits of reduced crime to the United States. 

Work in Progress

“Negative Social Comparisons and Health Behaviors: Evidence from Beauty Pageants” (with Christopher S. Carpenter).

“Driver’s Licenses, Unauthorized Immigrants, and Auto Insurance” (with Taylor Mackay and Bing Yang Tan).

“The Relationship between Medicaid Expansion and Teenage Girls’ Take-Up of the HPV Vaccine”