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The Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less-Educated Immigration into U.S. States

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  • Simpson, Nicole B.

    ()
    (Colgate University)

  • Sparber, Chad

    ()
    (Colgate University)

Abstract

This paper uses a gravity model of migration to analyze how income differentials affect the flow of immigrants into U.S. states using annual data from the American Community Survey. We add to existing literature by decomposing income differentials into short- and long-term components and by focusing on newly arrived less-educated immigrants between 2000-2009. Our sample is unique in that 95 percent of our observed immigrant flows equal zero. We accommodate for the zeros by using scaled ordinary least squares, a threshold tobit model from Eaton and Tamura (1994), and the two-part model to analyze the determinants of immigration. Models that include observations with zero flow values find that recent male immigrants respond to differences in (short-term) GDP fluctuations between origin countries and U.S. states, and perhaps to (long-term) trend GDP differences as well. More specifically, short-run GDP fluctuations pull less-educated male immigrants into certain U.S. states, whereas GDP trends push less-educated male immigrants out of their countries of origin. Effects for less-educated women are less robust, as GDP coefficient magnitudes tend to be much smaller than in regressions for men.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6437.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Southern Economic Journal, 2013, 80(2), 414-438
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6437

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Keywords: gravity; immigration; macroeconomics; GDP;

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  1. Adsera, Alicia & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "The Role of Language in Shaping International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Pavel Svaton & Thierry Warin, 2007. "European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?," International Trade and Finance Association Conference Papers 1095, International Trade and Finance Association.
  3. Clark, Ximena & Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "Explaining U.S. immigration, 1971-98," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3252, The World Bank.
  4. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zlate, Andrei, 2012. "Immigration, remittances and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 196-213.
  6. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Südekum, Jens, 2012. "Dialects, cultural identity, and economic exchange," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 225-239.
  7. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Gail Pacheco & Stephanie Rossouw & Joshua Lewer, 2013. "Do Non-Economic Quality of Life Factors Drive Immigration?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 1-15, January.
  10. 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.
  11. Hanson, G.H. & Robertson, R. & Spilimbergo, A., 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," Working Papers 438, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  12. Adriana Kugler & Mutlu Yuksel, 2008. "Effects of Low-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Natives: Evidence from Hurricane Mitch," NBER Working Papers 14293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
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