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Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK

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  • Gordon H. Hanson
  • Craig McIntosh

Abstract

We use census data for the US, Canada, Spain, and UK to estimate bilateral migration rates to these countries from 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations over the period 1980 to 2005. Latin American migration to the US is responsive to labor supply shocks, as predicted by earlier changes in birth cohort sizes, and labor demand shocks associated with balance of payments crises and natural disasters. Latin American migration to Canada, Spain, and the UK, in contrast, is largely insensitive to these shocks, responding only to civil and military conflict. The results are consistent with US immigration policy toward Latin America (which is relatively permissive toward illegal entry) being mediated by market forces and immigration policy in the other countries (which favor skilled workers and asylum seekers, among other groups) insulating them from labor market shocks in the region.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16471.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Publication status: published as Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2012. "Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain and the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 707-726, 06.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16471

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  1. Yang Dean, 2008. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-45, June.
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  4. Raddatz, Claudio, 2007. "Are external shocks responsible for the instability of output in low-income countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 155-187, September.
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  6. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Working Papers 96, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  7. Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2005. "Trade, gravity, and sudden stops: on how commercial trade can increase the stability of capital flows," Working Paper 2005-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Ximena Clark & Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2007. "Explaining U.S. Immigration, 1971-1998," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 359-373, May.
  9. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938, October.
  10. Sebastian Edwards, 2008. "Globalization, Growth and Crises: The View from Latin America," NBER Working Papers 14034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Parsons, Christopher R. & Skeldon, Ronald & Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2007. "Quantifying international migration : a database of bilateral migrant stocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4165, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.
  2. Francesca Marchetta, 2012. "Return Migration and the Survival of Entrepreneurial Activities in Egypt," Working Papers halshs-00693988, HAL.
  3. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 5958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Michael Clemens, 2014. "Does Development Reduce Migration? - Working Paper 359," Working Papers 359, Center for Global Development.
  5. Simone BERTOLI & Herbert BRÜCKER & Jesús FERNÁNDEZ-HUERTAS MORAGA, 2013. "The European Crisis and Migration to Germany: Expectations and the Diversion of Migration Flows," Working Papers halshs-00913869, HAL.

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