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Self-Confirming Immigration Policy

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  • Paolo E. Giordani
  • Michele Ruta

Abstract

We study immigration policy in a small receiving economy under self-selection of migrants. We show that a non-discriminatory immigration policy choice affects and is affected by the migratory decisions of skilled and unskilled foreign workers. From this interaction multiple equilibria may arise, which are driven by the natives’ expectations on the welfare effects of immigration. In particular, pessimistic (optimistic) beliefs induce a country to impose higher (lower) barriers to immigration, which crowd out (crowd in) skilled migrants and thus confirm initial beliefs. This self-fulfilling mechanism sustains the endogenous formation of an anti or pro-immigration prejudice. We discuss how the adoption of a skill-selective policy affects this result.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3762.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3762.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3762

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Related research

Keywords: immigration policy; skilled/unskilled workers; small economy; multiple equilibria;

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References

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  1. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  3. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
  4. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Suwankiri, Benjarong, 2011. "Migration and the Welfare State: Political-Economy Policy Formation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016109, December.
  5. Jaime MELO DE & Jean Marie GRETHER & Jean Claude MULLER, 2000. "The Political Economy of International Migration in a Ricardo-Viner Model," Working Papers 200021, CERDI.
  6. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  7. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "From individual attitudes towards migrants to migration policy outcomes: Theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6835, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  9. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2011. "Coordination Failures in Immigration Policy," Working Papers CELEG 1101, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  10. Paolo E Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2008. "Prejudice and Immigration," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002276, David K. Levine.
  11. Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Facchini, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp143, IIIS.
  12. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "International Migration in the Long-Run: Positive Selection, Negative Selection and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
  14. Ortega, Francesc, 2005. "Immigration quotas and skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1841-1863, September.
  15. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
  16. Levine, David & Fudenberg, Drew, 2006. "Superstition and Rational Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196330, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 2007. "Immigration Policy, Self-selection, and the Quality of Immigrants," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 869-877, November.
  18. Alon Cohen & Assaf Razin, 2008. "The Skill Composition of Immigrants and the Generosity of the Welfare State: Free vs. Policy-Controlled Migration," NBER Working Papers 14459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
  20. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Global Migration and the World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582775, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2011. "Coordination Failures in Immigration Policy," Working Papers CELEG 1101, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.

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