• Seminar,

Patricia Cortes (Boston University)

Published on May 26, 2021 Updated on June 24, 2021
Le 02 June 2021 De 17:30 à 18:30
Informations complémentaires :5.30 pm CET

Webinar: The Economics of Migration

Labor Market Nationalization Policies and Exporting Firm Outcomes: Evidence from Saudi Arabia

Coauthors: Semiray Kasoolu et Carolina Pan


In the last decade, Gulf countries have imposed hiring quotas to promote the participation of natives in the private sector and address high levels of unemployment, particularly among women and the youth. This paper explores how one such policy, Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia, affected the outcomes of exporting firms.  We find that whereas the policy was successful in increasing the employment of Saudi Nationals by these firms, it came at a high cost. In the year following the implementation of the policy, relative to firms above the quota, exporting firms below the quota reduced their labor force by 10 percent, were 8 percent less likely to export, and conditional on exporting, their exports fell by 27 percent. We also find that to comply with the policy, firms hired mostly lower wage, low skilled Saudis.  The policy doubled the share of women in treated firms.