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Legal and illegal immigrants: an analysis of optimal saving behavior

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  • Alexandra Vinogradova

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Abstract

Savings of guest workers as well as of undocumented migrants represent important inflows of foreign exchange for some developing countries. This paper compares the saving behavior of these two types of migrants, assuming that the former are authorized to work abroad for a specific period of time, while the latter can stay until apprehended and deported by the immigration authorities. Due to the risk of deportation, the saving rate of an illegal immigrant is found to be initially above that of a documented migrant. This precautionary saving phenomenon is, however, short-lived. A key finding of the paper is that the total repatriated assets of an illegal migrant are always lower than those of a documented worker, provided that their duration of stay abroad is identical. This is because the undocumented migrant’s saving rate falls over time as her expected lifetime earnings are adjusted upwards every day that she avoids apprehension. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandra Vinogradova, 2014. "Legal and illegal immigrants: an analysis of optimal saving behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 201-224, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:1:p:201-224
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0481-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Woodland, Alan D. & Yoshida, Chisato, 2006. "Risk preference, immigration policy and illegal immigration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 500-513, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Slobodan Djajić, 2014. "Temporary Migration and the Flow of Savings to the Source Country," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 162-176, February.
    2. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2014. "Liquidity-constrained migrants," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 210-224.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:5:p:1017-1045 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Illegal immigration; Uncertainty; Saving behavior; D81; F22; J61;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • 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

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