Giovanni Peri's work on Depression-era repatriation of Mexican immigrants featured in the Washington Post

In the early years of the Great Depression, targeted efforts by state and local governments resulted in the repatriation to Mexico of between 400,000 and 500,000 US residents of Mexican descent. Peri and his coauthors analyzed the effects of these large-scale repatriations and deportations on the employment and wages of native-born US workers.

Using 1930 and 1940 Census data on the full population of US workers, they find that cities subject to a larger number of repatriations experienced no improvement in labor market conditions for US natives: if anything, these cities saw declines in native employment and corresponding increases in the local unemployment rate. Employment losses were strongest in skilled and administrative occupations that complemented the jobs formerly held by repatriated Mexicans.

Read the full feature here