The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the effect of the
Mariel Boatlift on the Miami labor market, focusing on the wages
and unemployment rates of less-skilled workers. The Mariel
immigrants increased the population and labor force of the Miami
metropolitan area by 7 percent. Most of the immigrants were
relatively unskilled: as a result, the proportional increase in
labor supply to less-skilled occupations and industries was much
greater. Nevertheless, an analysis of wages of non-Cuban workers
over the 1979-85 period reveals virtually no effect of the Mariel
influx. Likewise, there is no indication that the Boatlift lead to
an increase in the unemployment rates of less-skilled blacks or
other non-Cuban workers. Even among the Cuban population wages and
unemployment rates of earlier immigrants were not substantially
effected by the arrival of the Mariels.
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