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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. Baldwin, Richard & Harrigan, James, 2007. "Zeros, Quality and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6368, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," NBER Working Papers 7054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Gail Pacheco & Stephanie Rossouw & Joshua Lewer, 2013. "Do Non-Economic Quality of Life Factors Drive Immigration?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 1-15, January.
  5. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London 2012014, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Warin Thierry & Svaton Pavel, 2008. "European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-32, September.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan & Lameli, Alfred & Suedekum, Jens, 2010. "Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange," IZA Discussion Papers 4743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Federico S. Mandelman & Andrei Zlate, 2010. "Immigration, remittances, and business cycles," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2008-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
  12. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  13. Clark, Ximena & Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "Explaining U.S. immigration, 1971-98," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3252, The World Bank.
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