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Managing immigration: A review of some past projections


  • B. Lindsay Lowell

    (Director of Policy Studies, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. USA)


International migration may not be amenable to expert knowledge and projections are often unreliable. Three examples of projections suggest failures regardless of scale, timeline or method: trend mechanics failed to anticipate the rapid rebound in temporary visas after the socioeconomic shocks of 2001, alternate assumptions generated wildly differing projections of visas under Congressional deliberation in 2006, and all theories/projections failed to anticipate recent declines in Mexico-to-US migration. While near term projections are required for planning the complex machinery to manage migration, medium-to-long range projections may inform but should not drive migration policy. Rather, admission policies should incorporate principals of self-regulation that prioritize domestic markets.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Lindsay Lowell, 2014. "Managing immigration: A review of some past projections," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 11(1), pages 33-42, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:11:y:2014:i:1:p:33-42

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neiman, Brent & Swagel, Phillip, 2009. "The impact of post-9/11 visa policies on travel to the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 86-99, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2017. "Unauthorized Mexican Workers in the United States: Recent Inflows and Possible Future Scenarios," Working Papers 1701, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.


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