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Migrant smuggling

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  • Tamura, Yuji

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tamura, Yuji, 2010. "Migrant smuggling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 540-548, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:7-8:p:540-548
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    4. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-financed Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1085-1111, December.
    5. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
    6. Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
    7. Sylvain E. Dessy & Flaubert Mbiekop & Stéphane Pallage, 2005. "The Economics of Child Trafficking (Part II)," Cahiers de recherche 0509, CIRPEE.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuelle Auriol & Alice Mesnard, 2016. "Sale of Visas: a Smuggler's Final Song?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(332), pages 646-678, October.
    2. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:3:p:698-712 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2013. "Human smuggling," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 6, pages 121-134 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2014. "Liquidity-constrained migrants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 210-224.
    5. Djajić, Slobodan, 2014. "Asylum seeking and irregular migration," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 83-95.
    6. Slobodan Djajić, 2015. "Financial Support from the Family Network and Illegal Immigration," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 387-403, May.
    7. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2013. "Undocumented migrants in debt," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 15-24.
    8. Slobodan Djajić & Michael S. Michael, 2014. "Controlling Illegal Immigration: On the Scope for Cooperation with a Transit Country," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 808-824, September.
    9. Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trebesch, Christoph, 2010. "The economics of human trafficking and labour migration: Micro-evidence from Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-188, June.
    10. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:5:p:1017-1045 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Omar Mahmoud, Toman, 2010. "Shocks, income diversification and welfare in developing and transition countries," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 59754, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Danzer, Alexander M. & Dietz, Barbara, 2018. "The Economic and Social Determinants of Migrants' Well-Being during the Global Financial Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 11272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trebesch, Christoph, 2009. "The economic drivers of human trafficking: micro-evidence from five Eastern European countries," Kiel Working Papers 1480, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Guido, Friebel & Miriam, Manchin & Mariapia, Mendola & Giovanni, Prarolo, 2017. "Human Smuggling and Intentions to Migrate: Global Evidence from a Supply Shock along Africa-to-Europe Migration Routes," Working Papers 375, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Illegal migration People smuggling Migrant exploitation Human trafficking;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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