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Should we have a WTO for international migration?


  • Timothy J. Hatton


"The international movement of labour remains much more restricted than movement of goods or capital, and the worldwide economic gains to liberalizing migration are large. This paper asks whether those gains could be realized through better international cooperation on migration along the lines of the WTO for trade. Although public opinion is marginally more negative towards the liberalization of migration than of trade, the key impediment is the lack of a basis for reciprocity in negotiations over migration. And this is because migration is largely driven by absolute advantage rather than by comparative advantage as in the case of trade. Consequently there is no basis for WTO-style negotiations over migration and therefore no grounds for reforming the international architecture in the hope of fostering liberalization." Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Hatton, 2007. "Should we have a WTO for international migration?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 339-383, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:22:y:2007:i::p:339-383

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jurje, Flavia & Lavenex, Sandra, 2013. "Issue-Linkage in International Migration Governance: Trade Agreements as Venues for “Market Power Europe”?," Papers 492, World Trade Institute.
    2. Collie, David R., 2007. "Migration and trade with external economies of scale," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2007/23, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Grossmann, Volker & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2012. "Migration, International Trade and Capital Formation: Cause or Effect ?," FSES Working Papers 436, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    4. Giordani, Paolo E. & Ruta, Michele, 2013. "Coordination failures in immigration policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 55-67.
    5. Gabriel Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2014. "Can International Migration Ever Be Made a Pareto Improvement?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: European Economic Integration, WTO Membership, Immigration and Offshoring, chapter 11, pages 373-393 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. David R. Collie, 2009. "Auctioning Immigration Visas," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 687-694, November.
    7. Giuseppe Bertola & Lorenza Mola, 2010. "Services Provision and Temporary Mobility: Freedoms and Regulation in the EU," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 633-653, April.
    8. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "Why are people more pro-trade than pro-migration?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 160-163, December.
    9. Flavia Jurje & Sandra Lavenex, 2014. "Trade Agreements as Venues for ´Market Power Europe´? The Case of Immigration Policy," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 320-336, March.
    10. repec:pra:mprapa:47899 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ferrie, Joseph & Hatton, Timothy J., 2013. "Two Centuries of International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Hatton, Timothy J., 2014. "The economics of international migration: A short history of the debate," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 43-50.
    13. Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2013. "Préjugés et fausses idées sur l’immigration et les immigrés, vecteurs de discrimination en matière d’accès à l’emploi
      [false ideas about immigrants and immigration and discrimination in labor marke
      ," MPRA Paper 47989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga, 2008. "A General Model of Bilateral Migration Agreements," Working Papers 360, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    15. repec:bla:intmig:v:51:y:2017:i:2:p:375-415 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Slobodan Djajic & Michael S. Michael, 2009. "Temporary Migration Policies and Welfare of the Host and Source Countries: A Game-Theoretic Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 2811, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Sebastian Galiani & Gustavo Torrens, 2015. "The Political Economy of Trade and Labor Mobility in a Ricardian World," NBER Working Papers 21274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Dowlah Caf, 2012. "Mode 4 of WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services: Can it spur Cross-Border Labor Mobility from Developing Countries?," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 56-82, December.

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