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Family reunification or point-based immigration system? The case of the United States and Mexico

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  • López Real, Joel
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    Abstract

    While the immigration policy in the United States is mainly oriented to family reunification, in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. it is a points-based immigration system which main objective is to attract high skilled immigrants. This paper compares both immigration policies through the transition for the United States and Mexico. I find that: (i) the point system increases the average years of the immigrants by 3.5 years; (ii) the Mexican immigrants suffer a 10% reduction in their effective hours of labor when they move to the United States; (iii) migration reduces inequality, more significantly if the immigration policy is the point system and increases output per capita differences between both countries; (iv) the offspring of the immigrants invest more in human capital than the United States natives; (v) the earnings ratio immigrants to the United States natives is lower under the quota system than under the point system but along the transition it reverses converging at the steady state. --

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    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2011-27.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201127

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    Keywords: Migration; self-selection; human capital; immigration policies;

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    1. Christian Bayer & Falko Juessen, 2012. "On the Dynamics of Interstate Migration: Migration Costs and Self-Selection," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 377-401, July.
    2. Lutz Hendricks, 2002. "How Important Is Human Capital for Development? Evidence from Immigrant Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 198-219, March.
    3. Ferreira Pedro C. & Pessoa Samuel A & Veloso Fernando A, 2008. "The Evolution of International Output Differences (1970-2000): From Factors to Productivity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-34, February.
    4. Ananth Seshadri & Rodolfo Manuelli, 2005. "Human Capital and the Wealth of Nations," 2005 Meeting Papers 56, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
    6. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kennan,J. & Walker,J.R., 2003. "The effect of expected income on individual migration decisions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    8. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    9. Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood & Haizheng Li, 2001. "A Conditional Logit Approach to U.S. State-to-State Migration," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 337-360.
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