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Migrant smuggling

  • Tamura, Yuji

We analyze a model of the migrant smuggling market where smugglers differ in the capacity to exploit their clients' labor at the destination. We suggest that destination countries with limited resources may prefer to improve the apprehension of smugglers and their clients at the border rather than inland, although either one of these anti-smuggling measures would reduce migrant exploitation. The reason is twofold. First, even if the resulting improvement in border apprehension alone cannot eliminate smuggling, it can do so when combined with a severe penalty for smuggling. Second, even if it is impracticable to set the penalty for smuggling sufficiently high, improved border apprehension reduces smuggling by discouraging existing exploitative smugglers from smuggling, whereas improved inland apprehension either maintains or even increases it by inducing them and those who are not currently smuggling to take up nonexploitative smuggling.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 540-548

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:7-8:p:540-548
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Bond, Eric W. & Chen, Tain-Jy, 1987. "The welfare effects of illegal immigration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 315-328, November.
  2. Djajic, Slobodan, 1987. "Illegal aliens, unemployment and immigration policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 235-249, February.
  3. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2002. "Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-Financed Migration," Working Papers w0058, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), revised Dec 2005.
  4. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
  5. Wayne A. Cornelius, 2001. "Death at the Border: Efficacy and Unintended Consequences of US Immigration Control Policy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(4), pages 661-685.
  6. 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.
  7. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark Guzman & Joseph Haslag & Pia Orrenius, 2008. "On the determinants of optimal border enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 261-296, February.
  9. Sylvain E. Dessy & Flaubert Mbiekop & Stéphane Pallage, 2005. "The Economics of Child Trafficking (Part II)," Cahiers de recherche 0509, CIRPEE.
  10. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
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