Monday, October 11, 2021
Economist David Card, Who Studied The Effects of Mariel Boatlift Migration on the Miami Labor Market, Wins Nobel Prize
If the name David Card rings a bell, it should! You might be remembering his 1990 article: The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market, which we featured in 2015 on a Throwback Thursday. To quote that Throwback:
Card studied the effect that the large influx of Cuban workers (125,000 arrived between May and September of 1980) had on the Miami labor market. He found that the labor force grew by 7%, with a greater increase in less-skilled occupations and industries. But he found no effect on the wages or unemployment rates of non-Cuban workers nor non-boatlift Cuban workers. There was, in fact, "rapid absorption" of the Mariel immigrants into the Miami workforce.
The Nobel Prize committee recognized Card “for his empirical contributions to labour economics," writing:
Using natural experiments, David Card has analysed the labour market effects of minimum wages, immigration and education. His studies from the early 1990s challenged conventional wisdom, leading to new analyses and additional insights. The results showed, among other things, that increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs. We now know that the incomes of people who were born in a country can benefit from new immigration, while people who immigrated at an earlier time risk being negatively affected. We have also realised that resources in schools are far more important for students’ future labour market success than was previously thought.