Magnus Lofstrom is a senior research research fellow at PPIC. He also holds appointments as research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany; research associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego; and is a member of the California State Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors as well as the Editorial Board of Industrial Relations. His research focuses on immigration, entrepreneurship, public safety, and education, has been funded by the Russell Sage, Kauffman and Smith Richardson Foundations. In addition to numerous edited volumes, his work has been published in journals such as Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Demography, Journal of Population Economics, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Small Business Economics and Journal of Regional Science.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 9812
published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2016, 30 (2), 103 - 126

Crime rates in the United States have declined to historical lows since the early 1990s. Prison and jail incarceration rates as well as community correctional populations have increased greatly since the mid-1970s. Both of these developments have disproportionately impacted poor and minority communities. In this paper, we document these trends....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9420
published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2015, 81 (4), 960–979

We examine the impact of state level legislation against the hiring of unauthorized immigrants on employment opportunities among competing low-skilled workers. Our focus is on the role of E-Verify mandates and specifically, we test for effects of the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on employment outcomes of low-skilled native-born...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7838
published in: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2016, 664 (1), 196-220

We evaluate the effect of perhaps the largest exogenous decline in a state's incarceration rate in U.S. history on local crime rates. We assess the effects of a recent reform in California that caused a sharp and permanent reduction in the state's incarceration rate. We exploit the large variation across...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7669
published in: Barry Chiswick and Paul Miller (eds.), Handbook on the Economics of International Immigration, 1B, Elsevier, 2015

Immigrants are widely perceived as being highly entrepreneurial and important for economic growth and innovation. This is reflected in immigration policies and many developed countries have created special visas and entry requirements in an attempt to attract immigrant entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly, a large body of research on immigrant entrepreneurship has...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6598
published in: David Card and Steven Raphael (eds.) Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality, Russell Sage

We analyze the impact of the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on employment outcomes of low-skilled Arizona workers, with a focus on the states' unauthorized population. The intent of LAWA was to limit unauthorized workers' economic opportunities as a way to deter further illegal immigration and as such is...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6259

Combining unique individual level H-1B data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and data from the 2009 American Community Survey, we analyze earnings differences between H-1B visa holders and US born workers in STEM occupations. The data indicate that H-1Bs are younger and more skilled, as measured by education,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6103
published as 'Why Are Some People More Likely to Become Small-Businesses Owners than Others: Entrepreneurship Entry and Industry-specific Barriers' in: Journal of Business Venturing, 2014, 29(2), 232–251

Drivers of entrepreneurial entry are investigated in this study by examining how entry into small-business ownership is shaped by industry-specific constraints. The human- and financial-capital endowments of potential entrepreneurs entering firms in various industries are shown to differ profoundly, depending on the type of venture entered. The educational credentials of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5682
published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2014, 96(2), 258-269

We test for an effect of Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) on the proportion of the state population characterized as foreign-born, as non-citizen, and as non-citizen Hispanic. We use the synthetic control method to select a group of states against which the population trends of Arizona can be...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5212
published in: Economic Development Quarterly, 2011, 25 (3), 255 - 266

Small business lending programs designed to move disadvantaged low-income people into business ownership have been difficult to implement successfully in the U.S. context. Based in part on the premise that financing requirements are an entry barrier limiting the ability of aspiring entrepreneurs to create small businesses, these programs are designed...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4972
revised version published as 'Wage and Mobility Effects of Legalization: Evidence from the New Immigrant Survey' in: Journal of Regional Science, 2013, 53 (1), 171–197

Taking advantage of the ability to identify immigrants who were unauthorized to work prior to obtaining Legal Permanent Resident status, we use the New Immigrant Survey to examine whether lacking legal status to work in the U.S. constrains employment outcomes of illegal immigrants. With the exception of high-skilled unauthorized immigrants,...