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The trade creation effect of immigrants: evidence from the remarkable case of Spain

  • Giovanni Peri
  • Francisco Requena-Silvente

This paper investigates the immigration-trade link using data on individual exporting transactions and immigrants in Spanish provinces between 1995 and 2008. We quantify the impact of new immigrants on the extensive margin (number of transactions) and intensive margin (average value per transaction) of exports. We find that immigrants significantly increase exports and that the effect is almost entirely due to an increase in the extensive margin. Consistent with the idea that immigrants reduce the fixed cost of exporting, we find stronger effects for differentiated goods and for countries that are culturally distant from Spain.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1433-1459

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:4:p:1433-1459
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  1. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Briant, Anthony & Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren, 2009. "Product Complexity, Quality of Institutions and the Pro-Trade Effect of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 7192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Cletus C. Coughlin & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Ethnic Networks and U.S. Exports," Working Papers 05-15old2 Classification-, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Catherine Co & Patricia Euzent & Thomas Martin, 2004. "The export effect of immigration into the USA," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 573-583.
  6. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gould, David M, 1994. "Immigrant Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for U.S. Bilateral Trade Flows," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 302-16, May.
  8. Sourafel Girma & Zhihao Yu, 2002. "The link between immigration and trade: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(1), pages 115-130, March.
  9. James A. Dunlevy, 2006. "The Influence of Corruption and Language on the Protrade Effect of Immigrants: Evidence from the American States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 182-186, February.
  10. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  11. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. 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.
  13. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
  14. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. John Bryant & Murat Genç & David Law, 2005. "Trade and Migration to New Zealand," ERSA conference papers ersa05p192, European Regional Science Association.
  16. José Vicente Blanes Cristóbal, 2004. "Does Immigration Help to Explain Intra-Industry Trade? Evidence for Spain," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/29, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  17. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," CESifo Working Paper Series 1117, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Mark G. Herander & Luz A. Saavedra, 2005. "Exports and the Structure of Immigrant-Based Networks: The Role of Geographic Proximity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 323-335, May.
  19. José V. Blanes & Joan A. Martín-Montaner, 2006. "Migration Flows and Intra-Industry Trade Adjustments," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(3), pages 567-584, October.
  20. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade & Thierry Mayer, 2005. "The Trade Creating Effects of Business and Social Networks: Evidence from France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00268768, HAL.
  21. Daniel L. Millimet & Thomas Osang, 2007. "Do state borders matter for U.S. intranational trade? The role of history and internal migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(1), pages 93-126, February.
  22. Dunlevy, James A. & Hutchinson, William K., 1999. "The Impact of Immigration on American Import Trade in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(04), pages 1043-1062, December.
  23. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  24. Wagner, Don & Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Immigration and the Trade of Provinces," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 507-25, December.
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