Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law
AbstractImmigration control-related audits and their resulting sanctions are not solely determined by impartial enforcement of laws and regulations. They are also determined by the incentives faced by vote-maximizing congressmen, agents acting on their behalf, and workers likely to compete with immigrants in the local labor market. In this paper we test to what extent congressional oversight, i.e., legislative involvement, determines the bureaucratic immigration enforcement process. We examine the determinants of decisions made at each stage of regulatory enforcement for over 40,000 audits from 1990 to 2000. This includes an analysis of the determinants of whether a firm is 1) found in violation, 2) whether a warning or fine issued, 3) the size of the fine issued, and 4) how much of dollar reduction fined employers were able to negotiate after the fact. Consistent with the hypothesis that locals will provide more tips to the enforcement agency when unemployment is high, we find that the number of audits conducted grows with increased local unemployment. We also find that a congressman's party affiliation and its interaction with committee membership, party rank, and party majority status, as well as firm size and local union membership, correlate to bureaucratic decisions made at every stage of immigration enforcement.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Towson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-04.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision: Mar 2012
Other versions of this item:
- Michael D. Makowsky & Thomas Stratmann, 2012. "Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law," CESifo Working Paper Series 3792, CESifo Group Munich.
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2012-04-10 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2012-04-10 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- George J. Borjas, 1994.
"The Economic Benefits from Immigration,"
NBER Working Papers
4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card, 1997.
"Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration,"
NBER Working Papers
5927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
- David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Liesbet Okkerse, 2008. "How To Measure Labour Market Effects Of Immigration: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 1-30, 02.
- Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004.
"Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
- Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Winegarden, C R & Khor, Lay Boon, 1991. "Undocumented Immigration and Unemployment of U.S. Youth and Minority Workers: Econometric Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 105-12, February.
- Weingast, Barry R & Moran, Mark J, 1983. "Bureaucratic Discretion or Congressional Control? Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(5), pages 765-800, October.
- Hill, John K & Pearce, James E, 1990. "The Incidence of Sanctions against Employers of Illegal Aliens," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 28-44, February.
- Withers, Glenn & Pope, David, 1985. "Immigration and Unemployment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(173), pages 554-63, June.
- Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006.
"Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
- Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-77, Fall.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Juergen Jung).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.