IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cje/issued/v48y2015i3p940-962.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Government policy under price uncertainty: A source of volatility in illegal immigration

Author

Listed:
  • Mark G. Guzman
  • Joseph H. Haslag
  • Pia M. Orrenius

Abstract

This paper provides an alternative explanation for why illegal immigration can exhibit substantial volatility. We develop a model economy where migrants make decisions in the face of uncertain border enforcement and transfers from the host country. The uncertainty is extrinsic, a sunspot, and arises due to ambiguity regarding government policy; the sunspot manifests itself as uncertainty in the commodity price of money. Immigration volatility stems from both the trade-off between the marginal benefits and costs (transfers and enforcement) to migrating and the existence of a sunspot. Finally, we examine the impact of changes in government policies on migration levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2015. "Government policy under price uncertainty: A source of volatility in illegal immigration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 940-962, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:48:y:2015:i:3:p:940-962
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12164
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/caje.12164
    Download Restriction: access restricted to subscribers
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Costas Azariadis & Roger Guesnerie, 1986. "Sunspots and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 725-737.
    2. Gathmann, Christina, 2008. "Effects of enforcement on illegal markets: Evidence from migrant smuggling along the southwestern border," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1926-1941, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1998. "Indeterminacy and Sunspots with Constant Returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 58-96, July.
    5. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Political economy, sectoral shocks, and border enforcement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 612-638, August.
    6. Keister, Todd, 1998. "Money Taxes and Efficiency When Sunspots Matter," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 43-68, November.
    7. Gordon H Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "The Great Mexican Emigration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 798-810, November.
    8. Gil Epstein & Avi Weiss, 2011. "The why, when, and how of immigration amnesties," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 285-316, January.
    9. Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2004. "Accounting for fluctuations in social network usage and migration dynamics," Working Papers 0402, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    10. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zlate, Andrei, 2012. "Immigration, remittances and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 196-213.
    11. Balasko, Yves, 1983. "Extrinsic uncertainty revisited," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 203-210, December.
    12. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
    13. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Guzman, Mark G. & Shell, Karl, 1998. "Price Level Volatility: A Simple Model of Money Taxes and Sunspots," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 401-430, August.
    14. Cass, David, 1992. "Sunspots and Incomplete Financial Markets: The General Case," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(3), pages 341-358, July.
    15. Woodford, Michael, 1987. "Three Questions about Sunspot Equilibria as an Explanation of Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 93-98, May.
    16. Woodford, Michael, 1986. "Stationary sunspot equilibria in a finance constrained economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 128-137, October.
    17. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Political economy, sectoral shocks, and border enforcement," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 34(3), pages 612-638, August.
    18. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    19. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
    20. Mark Guzman & Joseph Haslag & Pia Orrenius, 2008. "On the determinants of optimal border enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(2), pages 261-296, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2003. "A role for government policy and sunspots in explaining endogenous fluctuations in illegal immigration," Working Papers 0305, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Joe Haslag & Mark G. Guzman & Pia M. Orrenius, 2003. "A Role for Sunspots in Explaining Endogenous Fluctutations in Illegal Immigration," Working Papers 0312, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    3. Tarek Coury & Yi Wen, 2009. "Global indeterminacy in locally determinate real business cycle models," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 5(1), pages 49-60, March.
    4. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Yi Wen, 2004. "Foreign Trade and Equilibrium Indeterminacy," NIPE Working Papers 5/2004, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    5. Aguiar-Conraria, Luís & Wen, Yi, 2008. "A Note On Oil Dependence And Economic Instability," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(5), pages 717-723, November.
    6. Tarek Coury & Yi Wen, 2007. "Global indeterminacy in locally determinate RBC models," Working Papers 2007-029, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
    8. Christiano, Lawrence J. & G. Harrison, Sharon, 1999. "Chaos, sunspots and automatic stabilizers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-31, August.
    9. Cazzavillan, Guido, 2001. "Indeterminacy and Endogenous Fluctuations with Arbitrarily Small Externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 133-157, November.
    10. Hoelle, Matthew, 2014. "The relation between sunspot effects and multiplicity in incomplete markets models with numeraire assets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 119-127.
    11. Keister, Todd, 1998. "Money Taxes and Efficiency When Sunspots Matter," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 43-68, November.
    12. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
    13. Florian Kaufmann, 2008. "Attracting Undocumented Immigrants: The Perverse Effects of U.S. Border Enforcement," Working Papers wp187, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    14. Kang, Minwook, 2015. "Price-level volatility and welfare in incomplete markets with sunspots," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 58-66.
    15. Gordon Hanson & Chen Liu & Craig McIntosh, 2017. "The Rise and Fall of U.S. Low-Skilled Immigration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 83-168.
    16. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1989. "Serial Correlation of Sunspot Equilibria (Rational Bubbles) in Two Popular Models of Monetary Economies," Discussion Papers 827, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    17. Wen, Yi, 2001. "Understanding self-fulfilling rational expectations equilibria in real business cycle models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1221-1240, August.
    18. Gordon H Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "The Great Mexican Emigration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 798-810, November.
    19. Dufourt, Frédéric & Nishimura, Kazuo & Venditti, Alain, 2015. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in two-sector RBC models with generalized no-income-effect preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 1056-1080.
    20. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2011. "What drives U.S. immigration policy? Evidence from congressional roll call votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 734-743, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:48:y:2015:i:3:p:940-962. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Prof. Werner Antweiler). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ceaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.