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The rhetoric of closed borders: quotas, lax enforcement and illegal migration

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  • Facchini, Giovanni
  • Testa, Cecilia

Abstract

Despite restrictive migration policies, large numbers of undocumented migrants reside in many destination countries. If official migration targets are not enforced, why are they devised? To address this puzzle, we develop a political agency model with uncertainty on the migrants' supply, where an elected official can either have preferences congruent with the median voter, or prefer a larger number of migrants. We show that, if the incumbent prefers more migrants than the median, he might find it optimal to announce a binding quota to be re-elected, and strategically relax its enforcement, or choose an ineffective instrument like border control.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8245.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8245

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Keywords: Illegal immigration; Immigration Policy; Political Economy;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. "The Rhetoric of Closed Borders"
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2011-04-28 07:15:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Emmanuelle Auriol & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "Sale of Visas: A Smuggler’s Final Song?," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012007, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Spending More is Spending Less: Policy Dilemmas on Irregular Migration," Development Working Papers 330, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
  3. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "What Drives Immigration Amnesties?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3981, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Devillanova, Carlo & Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso, 2014. "Employment of Undocumented Immigrants and the Prospect of Legal Status: Evidence from an Amnesty Program," IZA Discussion Papers 8151, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Biavaschi, Costanza & Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Let's Be Selective about Migrant Self-Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 7865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Spending more is spending less: on the desirability of enforcing migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012006, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.

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