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Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? US and EU Immigration Pressures in the Long Run

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  • Gordon Hanson
  • Craig McIntosh

Abstract

How will worldwide changes in population affect pressures for international migration in the future? We examine the past three decades, during which population pressures contributed to substantial labor flows from neighboring countries into the United States and Europe, and contrast them with the coming three decades, which will see sharp reductions in labor-supply growth in Latin America but not in Africa or much of the Middle East. Using a gravity-style empirical model, we examine the contribution of changes in relative labor-supply to bilateral migration in the 2000s and then apply this model to project future bilateral flows based on long-run UN forecasts of working-age populations in sending and receiving countries. Because the Americas are entering an era of uniformly low population growth, labor flows across the Rio Grande are projected to slow markedly. Europe, in contrast, will face substantial demographically driven migration pressures from across the Mediterranean for decades to come. Although these projected inflows would triple the first-generation immigrant stocks of larger European countries between 2010 and 2040, they would still absorb only a small fraction of the 800-million-person increase in the working-age population of Sub-Saharan Africa that is projected to occur over this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2016. "Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? US and EU Immigration Pressures in the Long Run," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 57-82, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:57-82
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.4.57
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 79-100.
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    6. Antonio Spilimbergo & Gordon H. Hanson, 1999. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1337-1357, December.
    7. Caglar Ozden & Christopher R. Parsons & Maurice Schiff & Terrie L. Walmsley, 2011. "Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960-2000," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 12-56, May.
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    13. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Johannes Velling, 1997. "Employment Effects Of Immigration To Germany: An Analysis Based On Local Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 594-604, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thu Dao & Frédéric Docquier & Mathilde Maurel & Pierre Schaus, 2018. "Global Migration in the 20th and 21st Centuries: the Unstoppable Force of Demography," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01743799, HAL.
    2. Stefano Fusaro & Enrique López-Bazo, 2018. "“The Impact of Immigration on Native Employment: Evidence from Italy”," IREA Working Papers 201822, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Sep 2018.
    3. repec:zbw:medamr:182240 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0054-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0051-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. André Gröger, 2019. "Easy Come, Easy Go? Economic Shocks, Labor Migration and the Family Left Behind," Working Papers 1086, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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