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Effects of enforcement on illegal markets: Evidence from migrant smuggling along the southwestern border

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  • Gathmann, Christina

Abstract

The paper analyzes the effects of tighter border control on the illegal crossing market between Mexico and the United States. Combining panel data on illegal migrants with enforcement statistics, the effects of enforcement are found to be moderate: prices of border smugglers ('coyotes') increased by only 17%, while the demand for smugglers has remained unchanged. Enforcement has however shifted illegal migrants to remote crossing places. Border crossing is now more time-intensive with higher prices for coyotes and risk of death. This geographic substitution raised migration costs by $140, more than twice the effect of enforcement on smuggling prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10-11 (October)
Pages: 1926-1941

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:10-11:p:1926-1941

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Enforcement Illegal migration Smuggling Crime Mexico;

References

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  1. Douglas Massey & Audrey Singer, 1995. "New Estimates of Undocumented Mexican Migration and the Probability of Apprehension," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 203-213, May.
  2. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1996. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," IDB Publications 6798, Inter-American Development Bank.
  3. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1995. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," NBER Working Papers 5238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ilyana Kuziemko & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of Imprisoning Drug Offenders," NBER Working Papers 8489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeffrey A. Miron, 2003. "The Effect of Drug Prohibition on Drug Prices: Evidence from the Markets for Cocaine and Heroin," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 522-530, August.
  6. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  8. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
  9. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
  10. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Munirul H Nabin & Pasquale M Sgro, 2010. "Employer Sanctions, Illegal Migration and Welfare," Economics Series 2010_01, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  2. Hernandez, Diego & Rudolph, Alexandra, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 83, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  3. Diego Hernandez & Alexandra Rudolph, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 97, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 23 Nov 2011.
  4. Tamura, Yuji, 2010. "Migrant smuggling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 540-548, August.
  5. Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "New Evidence on Emigrant Selection," Working Papers 347, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Alexander Kemnitz & Karin Mayr, 2012. "Return Migration and Illegal Immigration Control," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012040, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "Wealth Constraints, Skill Prices or Networks: What Determines Emigrant Selection?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 741.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2013. "Undocumented migrants in debt," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 15-24.
  9. Harlan Koff, 2006. "On the Cutting Edge: Border Integration and Security in Europe and North America," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 21, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  10. Anna Klabunde, 2014. "Computational Economic Modeling of Migration," Ruhr Economic Papers 0471, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  11. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2014. "Liquidity-constrained migrants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 210-224.
  12. Bjerk, David J. & Mason, Caleb, 2014. "The Market for Mules: Risk and Compensation of Cross-Border Drug Couriers," IZA Discussion Papers 8224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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