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Towards a Better System for Immigration Control

  • Gordon M. Myers
  • Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

We study different methods of immigration control using a simple model of a congested world. Our main comparison involves quotas, the predominant instrument of immigration control, and a proposed system of immigration tolls and emigration subsidies. We show that the equilibrium of the proposed system is Pareto superior to the quota system. This is consistent with the tolls and subsidies creating a market for international migrants. When countries are price-takers the market becomes perfect and the exploitation of gains from trade complete. From a normative perspective, an open- borders policy is preferred to both control methods but will meet political opposition because it hurts the residents of the rich country. Copyright 2002 Blackwell Publishers Inc.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 42 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 51-74

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:42:y:2002:i:1:p:51-74
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  1. Gordon M Myers & Yorgos Y Papageorgiou, 1997. "Immigration Control and the Welfare State," Department of Economics Working Papers 1997-01, McMaster University.
  2. John B. Burbidge & Gordon M. Myers, 1994. "Redistribution within and across the Regions of a Federation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 620-36, August.
  3. Bucovetsky, S., 1995. "Rent seeking and tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 337-363, November.
  4. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  5. Usher, Dan, 1977. "Public Property and the Effects of Migration upon Other Residents of the Migrants' Countries of Origin and Destination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 1001-20, October.
  6. Wellisch, Dietmar & Wildasin, David E., 1996. "Decentralized income redistribution and immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 187-217, January.
  7. Kuhn, Peter & Wooton, Ian, 1987. "International factor movements in the presence of a fixed factor," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 123-140, February.
  8. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Illegal Immigration and Immigration Control," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 101-15, Summer.
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