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This paper discusses how an industrialized country could defend the living standard of its unskilled workers against the wage competition from immigrants. It shows that fixing social replacement incomes implies migration into unemployment. Defending wages with replacement incomes brings about first order efficiency losses that approximate the budget cost of the government. By contrast, wage subsidies involve much smaller welfare losses. While the exclusion of migrants from a national wagedoi:10.3386/w10798 fatcat:75izlrqahjfzretgthsn6wblsq