N° 830 Characterization of the Recent Immigration to Chile
Authors: Rosario Aldunate, Gabriela Contreras, Claudia De la Huerta, Matías Tapia
Categoría: Working Papers

The Working Paper Series of the Central Bank of Chile disseminates economic research conducted by Central Bank staff or third parties under the sponsorship of the Bank. The purpose of the series is to contribute to the discussion of relevant issues and develop new analytical or empirical approaches in their analysis. The only aim of the Working Papers is to disseminate preliminary research for its discussion and comments. Publication of Working Papers is not subject to previous approval by the members of the Board of the Central Bank. The views and conclusions presented in the papers are exclusively those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Central Bank of Chile or of the Board members.

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Technical Summary

This paper documents the rapid increase in immigration to Chile experienced in the past few years. Our main purpose is to characterize the immigrant population and to analyze their assimilation into the local labor market. We find that immigrants are on average younger than the native-born and have higher labor force participation rates, revealing that foreign-born population in Chile comprises mostly of economic migrants. We also find that foreign-born are distributed across all skill levels, unlike other countries that have received larger shares of low-skilled immigrants. However, most of the foreign-born are overqualified for the jobs they hold despite being on overage more educated than the native-born. Even though immigrants face an adjustment period upon arrival into the country, their unemployment rate does not differ substantially from that of the native-born. Additionally, foreign-born and native-born have a similar distribution of employment across economic sectors, employment status and informality. We conclude that immigrants have integrated well into the labor market, suggesting immigration could be a factor contributing to long term economic growth in Chile.

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