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Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus

  • Simone Bertoli
  • Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga
  • Francesc Ortega

Ecuador recently experienced an unprecedented wave of emigration following the severe economic crisis of the late 1990s. Individual-level data for Ecuador and its two main migration destinations, Spain and the United States, are used to examine the size and skill composition of these migration flows and the role of wage differences in accounting for these features. Estimations of earnings regressions for Ecuadorians in all three countries show substantially larger income gains following migration to the United States than to Spain, with the wage differential increasing with migrants' education level. While this finding can account for the pattern of positive sorting in education toward the United States, it fails to explain why most Ecuadorians opted for Spain. The explanation for this preference appears to lie in Spain's visa waiver program for Ecuadorians. When the program was abruptly terminated, monthly inflows of Ecuadorians to Spain declined immediately. Copyright , Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wber/lhr004
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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 57-76

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:25:y:2011:i:1:p:57-76
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  1. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: The role of migration networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
  3. Andrew Atkeson & V. V. Chari & Patrick Kehoe, 2009. "Sophisticated Monetary Policies," NBER Working Papers 14883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Simone Bertoli, 2010. "Networks, Sorting and Self-selection of Ecuadorian Migrants," Development Working Papers 287, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 30 Apr 2010.
  5. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Working Papers 96, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  7. Fabian Valencia & Luc Laeven, 2008. "Systemic Banking Crises; A New Database," IMF Working Papers 08/224, International Monetary Fund.
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