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Vanishing Third World Emigrants?

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  • Timothy J. Hatton
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Abstract

This paper documents a stylized fact not well appreciated in the literature. The Third World has been undergoing an emigration life cycle since the 1960s, and, except for Africa, emigration rates have been level or even declining since a peak in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The current economic crisis will serve only to accelerate those trends. The paper estimates the economic and demographic fundamentals driving these Third World emigration life cycles to the United States since 1970 -- the income gap between the US and the sending country, the education gap between the US and the sending country, the poverty trap, the size of the cohort at risk, and migrant stock dynamics. It then projects the life cycle up to 2024. The projections imply that pressure on Third World emigration over the next two decades will not increase. It also suggests that future US immigrants will be more African and less Hispanic than in the past.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14785.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14785

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  1. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  2. Hatton, T.J. & Williamson, J.G., 1992. "What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Ninteenth Century," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1614, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Jane Sneddon Little & Robert K. Triest, 2001. "Seismic shifts: the economic impact of demographic change: an overview," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  4. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
  5. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Demographic shocks and global factor flows," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  6. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Peri, 2012. "Immigration and Europe’s Demographic Problems: Analysis and Policy Considerations," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(4), pages 03-08, 02.
  2. Kevin H. O’Rourke, 2009. "Power and Plenty in 2030," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp298, IIIS.
  3. Arno Tausch & Almas Heshmati, 2012. "Migration, Openness and the Global Preconditions of "Smart Development"," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 1-62.
  4. Arno Tausch & Almas Heshmati, 2013. "Worker remittances and the global preconditions of ‘smart development’," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 35(1), pages 25-50, April.

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