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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. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
  5. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2009. "Product Complexity, Quality Of Institutions And The Pro-Trade Effect Of Immigrants," PSE Working Papers halshs-00382510, HAL.
  6. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
  7. John Bryant & Murat Genç & David Law, 2005. "Trade and Migration to New Zealand," ERSA conference papers ersa05p192, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.
  9. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Cletus C. Coughlin & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Ethnic Networks and U.S. Exports," Working Papers 05-15 Classification- JEL, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  10. 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.
  11. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 10904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. José V. Blanes & Joan A. Martín-Montaner, 2006. "Migration Flows and Intra-Industry Trade Adjustments," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 567-584, October.
  14. 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.
  15. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. José V. Blanes, 2005. "Does Immigration Help to Explain Intra-Industry Trade? Evidence for Spain," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 141(2), pages 244-270, July.
  18. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  19. 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.
  20. David Card, 1996. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Working Papers 747, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  21. 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.
  22. Sourafel Girma & Zhihao Yu, 2002. "The link between immigration and trade: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 115-130, March.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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