Policy Impacts in the Age of Trump: Evidence from DACA

Photo of DACA Advocates Protesting the Trump administration's Handling of Daca

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Andrews Room 2203 Social Sciences and Humanities, Zoom

If you would like to attend virtually, join the zoom presentation here: https://ucdavis.zoom.us/s/98587235882

Speaker: Reem Zaiour, PhD Candidate, Economics, UC Davis


Enacted in 2012, the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided almost 800,000 undocumented immigrants with temporary work authorization and deportation relief but was substantially challenged by the Trump Administration in 2017. This paper explores the labor market responses of DACA recipients to the uncertainty and volatility that accompanied the policy. Using a difference-in-difference methodology and relying on a discontinuity in DACA's eligibility criteria, I estimate the effects of DACA on labor market and education outcomes between 2012 and 2019. Contrary to previous literature studying DACA, I do not use non-citizenship as a proxy for unauthorized status. I rather impute undocumented status using a residual method, that allows selecting a sample more closely aligned with likely undocumented individuals. Results show that DACA had significant positive effects on employment and negative effects on education. In the wake of the uncertainty instigated in 2017, DACA’s impact on labor market outcomes mostly disappeared, while the negative effects of DACA on the likelihood of attending schools increased in magnitude. Finally, I document stark heterogeneity across gender, ethnicity, and political environments.

Discussant: Paola Langer (Sociology)

Headshot of Reem Zaiour

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