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Measuring and Explaining Cross-Country Immigration Policies

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  • Rayp, Glenn
  • Ruyssen, Ilse
  • Standaert, Samuel

Abstract

The intensified international migration pressures of the recent decades prompted many developed countries to revise their immigration regulations and increase border controls. However, the development of these reforms as well as their effectiveness in actually managing immigration flows remain poorly understood. The main reason is that migration regulations are hard to quantify, which has prevented the construction of a universal measure of migration policy. To fill this gap in the literature, we construct an indicator of the restrictiveness of immigration entry policy across countries as well as a more comprehensive indicator of migration policy that also accounts for staying requirements and regulations to foster integration. Specifically, we estimate a Bayesian-state space model to combine all publicly available data sources that are informative on migration policy. This methodology allows us to account for measurement errors in the underlying indicators and increases data availability without imputations or other ad hoc manipulations. The indexes that we obtain are then used to disentangle the factors determining the toughness of migration regulations. Our empirical framework accounts for cross-country correlation in migration policies and combines elements from the median voter and interest group approach. We find strong evidence of spatial correlation in particular in entry restrictiveness, yet substantially less in overall immigration policy. This suggests that there still remains a substantive national margin in immigration policies, in particular in the less visible segments such as staying conditions and integration rights. We also find indications of a global trend of increasing restrictiveness in migration entry policy after the financial crisis of 2007–08.

Suggested Citation

  • Rayp, Glenn & Ruyssen, Ilse & Standaert, Samuel, 2017. "Measuring and Explaining Cross-Country Immigration Policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 141-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:141-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.02.026
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    3. Krieger, Tim & Renner, Laura & Schmid, Lena, 2019. "Where do migrants from countries ridden by environmental conflict settle? On the scale, selection and sorting of conflict-induced migration," Discussion Paper Series 2019-03, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    4. Albert MILLOGO & Ines TROJETTE & Nicolas PÉRIDY, 2021. "Are government policies efficient to regulate immigration? Evidence from France," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 53, pages 23-49.
    5. Miguelez, Ernest & Noumedem Temgoua, Claudia, 2020. "Inventor migration and knowledge flows: A two-way communication channel?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(9).
    6. Michel Beine & Joël Machado & Ilse Ruyssen, 2020. "Do potential migrants internalize migrant rights in OECD host societies?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1429-1456, November.
    7. Aziz, Nusrate & Chowdhury, Murshed & Cooray, Arusha, 2022. "Why do people from wealthy countries migrate?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    8. Ben Atta, Oussama & Chort, Isabelle & Senne, Jean Noël, 2022. "Immigration, integration, and the informal economy in OECD countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1197, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    9. M. D. Valovaya, 2018. "Eurasian Economic Union As A Global Integration Project: Not Only About The Economy," International Trade and Trade Policy, ФГБОУ ВО "Ð Ð¾Ñ Ñ Ð¸Ð¹Ñ ÐºÐ¸Ð¹ Ñ ÐºÐ¾Ð½Ð¾Ð¼Ð¸Ñ‡ÐµÑ ÐºÐ¸Ð¹ ÑƒÐ½Ð¸Ð²ÐµÑ€Ñ Ð¸Ñ‚ÐµÑ‚ им. Г.Ð’. Плеханова", issue 4.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international migration; immigration policy; multilateral resistance; spatial dependence; state-space model; Bayesian inference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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