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The Impact of Immigration on International Trade: A Meta-Analysis

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  • Genc, Murat

    ()
    (University of Otago)

  • Gheasi, Masood

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Nijkamp, Peter

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Poot, Jacques

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Since the early 1990s many empirical studies have been conducted on the impact of international migration on international trade, predominantly from the host country perspective. Because most studies have adopted broadly the same specification, namely a log-linear gravity model of export and import flows augmented with the logarithm of the stock of immigrants from specific source countries as an additional explanatory variable, the resulting elasticities are broadly comparable and yield a set of estimates that is well suited to meta-analysis. We therefore compile and analyze in this paper the distribution of immigration elasticities of imports and exports across 48 studies that yielded 300 observations. The results show that immigration complements rather than substitutes for trade flows between host and origin countries. Correcting for heterogeneity and publication bias, an increase in the number of immigrants by 10 percent may be expected to increase the volume of trade on average by about 1.5 percent. However, the impact is lower for trade in homogeneous goods. Over time, the growing stock of immigrants decreases the elasticities. The estimates are affected by the choice of some covariates, the nature of the data (cross-section or panel) and the estimation technique. Elasticities vary between countries in ways that cannot be fully explained by study characteristics; trade restrictions and immigration policies matter for the impact of immigration on trade. The migrant elasticity of imports is larger than that of exports in about half the countries considered, but the publication bias and heterogeneity-corrected elasticity is slightly larger for exports than for imports.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6145.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: P. Nijkamp, J. Poot J and M. Sahin (eds.) Migration Impact Assessment: New Horizons, Edward Elgar, 2012
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6145

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Keywords: gravity model; immigration; exports; imports; international trade; meta-analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Murat Genç & David Law, 2014. "A Gravity Model of Barriers to Trade in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/05, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Grossmann, Volker & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2012. "Migration, International Trade and Capital Formation: Cause or Effect?," IZA Discussion Papers 6975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor, 2013. "Revisiting the Effectiveness of African Economic Integration. A Meta-Analytic Review and Comparative Estimation Methods," Economics Working Papers 2013-13, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. Ozgen, Ceren & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity and its Impact on Innovation: Longitudinal Evidence from Dutch Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 7129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2013. "Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 366-384, October.
  7. Paolo Sgrignoli & Rodolfo Metulini & Stefano Schiavo & Massimo Riccaboni, 2013. "The Relation Between Global Migration and Trade Networks," Papers 1310.3716, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2013.
  8. Massimiliano Bratti & Luca De Benedictis & Gianluca Santoni, 2013. "On the pro-trade effects of immigrants," Working Papers CEB 13-014, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Masood Gheasi & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2011. "Migration and Foreign Direct Investment: Education Matters," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-136/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Julie Fry, 2014. "Migration and Macroeconomic Performance in New Zealand: Theory and Evidence," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/10, New Zealand Treasury.
  11. Nuno Carlos Leitão, 2013. "The Impact of Immigration on Portuguese Intra-Industry Trade," Working Papers 2013.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Celbis, Mehmet Güney & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2013. "How big is the impact of infrastructure on trade? Evidence from meta-analysis," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  13. Francisco Requena & Vicente Pallardó & Andrés Artal, 2012. "Which immigrants stimulate exports in their host country? (en homenaje a José Vicente Blanes)," Working Papers 1207, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  14. Serrano-Domingo, Guadalupe & Requena-Silvente, Francisco, 2013. "Re-examining the migration–trade link using province data: An application of the generalized propensity score," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 247-261.
  15. Artal-Tur, Andrés & Pallardó-López, Vicente J. & Requena-Silvente, Francisco, 2012. "The trade-enhancing effect of immigration networks: New evidence on the role of geographic proximity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 554-557.

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