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Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain and the UK

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  • Gordon H. Hanson
  • Craig McIntosh

Abstract

We use census data for the US, Canada, Spain, and UK to estimate bilateral migration rates to these countries from 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations over the period 1980 to 2005. Latin American migration to the US is responsive to labor supply shocks, as predicted by earlier changes in birth cohort sizes, and labor demand shocks associated with balance of payments crises and natural disasters. Latin American migration to Canada, Spain, and the UK, in contrast, is largely insensitive to these shocks, responding only to civil and military conflict. The results are consistent with US immigration policy toward Latin America (which is relatively permissive toward illegal entry) being mediated by market forces and immigration policy in the other countries (which favor skilled workers and asylum seekers, among other groups) insulating them from labor market shocks in the region.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 122 (2012)
Issue (Month): 561 (06)
Pages: 707-726

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i:561:p:707-726

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  1. Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2006. "Trade, Gravity and Sudden Stops: On How Commercial Trade Can Increase the Stability of Capital Flows," IDB Publications 6839, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938, July.
  7. Carol Scotese Lehr, 2009. "Evidence on the Demographic Transition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 871-887, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Clemens, 2014. "Does Development Reduce Migration? - Working Paper 359," Working Papers 359, Center for Global Development.
  2. Simone BERTOLI & Herbert BRÜCKER & Jesús FERNÁNDEZ-HUERTAS MORAGA, 2013. "The European Crisis and Migration to Germany: Expectations and the Diversion of Migration Flows," Working Papers halshs-00913869, HAL.
  3. Simone Bertoli & Jesús Fernández-HuertasMoraga, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," Working Papers 2011-04, FEDEA.
  4. Francesca MARCHETTA, 2012. "Return Migration and the Survival of Entrepreneurial Activities in Egypt," Working Papers 201217, CERDI.
  5. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.

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