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Do Interest Groups Affect Immigration?

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Author Info

  • Facchini, Giovanni

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Mayda, Anna Maria

    ()
    (Georgetown University)

  • Mishra, Prachi

    ()
    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration, there is no systematic empirical evidence on this issue. To motivate our analysis, we develop a simple theoretical model where migration policy is the result of the interaction between organized groups with conflicting interests towards labor flows. We evaluate the key predictions of the model using a new, industry-level dataset from the United States that we construct by combining information on the total number of immigrants and H1B visas with data on lobbying expenditures associated with immigration. We find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business lobbies incur larger lobbying expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3183.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of International Economics, 2011, 85, 114-128
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3183

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Related research

Keywords: immigration policy; interest groups; political economy; immigration;

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References

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  4. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-02, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  2. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max, 2011. "What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 8299, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," MPRA Paper 19183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Benjamin Powell, 2012. "Coyote ugly: the deadweight cost of rent seeking for immigration policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 195-208, January.
  5. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2009. "The Immigration Policy Puzzle," Working Papers CELEG 0905, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  6. Carl Lin, 2011. "Give me your wired and your highly skilled: measuring the impact of immigration policy on employers and shareholders," Working Papers 2011/17, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  7. Krishnakumar, Jaya & Müller, Tobias, 2012. "The political economy of immigration in a direct democracy: The case of Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 174-189.
  8. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2008. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and US Ethnic Invention," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-005, Harvard Business School.

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