Did 9/11 Worsen the Job Prospects of Hispanic Immigrants?
Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Madeline Zavodny, Agnes Scott College
This paper examines whether the economic aftermath of 9/11 had an adverse impact on the labor market outcomes of male immigrants from Latin America, who compose the bulk of undocumented foreign-born workers in the U.S. The crackdown on use of fraudulent Social Security numbers, increased requirements for government-issued identification, and other changes associated with greater focus on national security likely lowered the demand for foreign-born workers—particularly the undocumented—relative to natives after 9/11. The relative decline in demand for such workers could have negatively affected employment, hours worked, and earnings. Using Current Population Survey data and a difference-in-difference estimation technique, we find a negative impact after 9/11 on earnings and hours worked among recent male Hispanic immigrants vis-à-vis natives and a negative effect on employment, hours worked, and earnings vis-à-vis Hispanic immigrants who had been in the U.S. longer.