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The Governance of Migration Policy

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  • Gordon Hanson

Abstract

In this paper, I examine high-income country motives for restricting immigration. Abundant evidence suggests that allowing labor to move from low-income to high-income countries would yield substantial gains in global income. Yet, most high-income countries impose strict limits on labor inflows and set their admission policies unilaterally. Making immigration more attractive would require creating mechanisms that limit the negative impacts of labor inflows on natives. Fiscal distortions create an incentive for receiving countries to screen immigrants according to their perceived economic impact. For high-skilled immigrants, screening can be based on educational degrees and professional credentials, which are relatively easy to observe. For low-skilled immigrants, illegal immigration represents an imperfect but increasingly common screening device. For policy-makers in labor-importing nations, the modest benefits freer immigration brings may simply not be worth the political hassle. To induce high-income countries to lower border barriers, they need to get more out of the bargain.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Hanson, 2010. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 185-207.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:11:y:2010:i:2:p:185-207
    DOI: 10.1080/19452821003677368
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    Cited by:

    1. Mo, Pak Hung, 2011. "International Human Trafficking: Theory and Solution," MPRA Paper 35104, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2011.
    2. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2011. "Do interest groups affect US immigration policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 114-128, September.
    3. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
    4. Giordani, Paolo E. & Ruta, Michele, 2013. "Coordination failures in immigration policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 55-67.
    5. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2008. "Why are people more pro-trade than pro-migration?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 160-163, December.
    6. Dan-Olof Rooth, 2007. "Implicit Discrimination in Hiring – Real World Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0705, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    7. Gil S. Epstein, 2013. "Frontier issues of the political economy of migration," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 22, pages 411-431, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Abdurrahman Aydemir, 2013. "Skill-based immigrant selection and labor market outcomes by visa category," Chapters, in: Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 23, pages 432-452, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Maurizio Bussolo & Johannes Koettl & Emily Sinnott, 2015. "Golden Aging," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 22018, December.
    10. Piyasiri Wickramasekara, 2014. "Labour Migration in South Asia: A Review of Issues, Policies and Practices," Working Papers id:6347, eSocialSciences.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; Labor mobility; Political economy; Illegal migration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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