Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-financed Migration
We introduce financial constraints in a theoretical analysis of illegal immigration. Intermediaries finance the migration costs of wealth-constrained migrants, who enter temporary servitude contracts to repay the debt. These debt/labor contracts are easier to enforce in the illegal than in the legal sector of the host country. Hence, when moving from the illegal to the legal sector becomes more costly-for instance, because of stricter deportation policies-fewer immigrants default on debt. This reduces the risks for intermediaries, who are then more willing to finance illegal migration. Stricter deportation policies may thus, ex ante, increase rather than decrease the flow of illegal migrants. Furthermore, stricter deportation policies worsen the skill composition of immigrants. While stricter border controls decrease overall immigration, they may result in an increase of debt-financed migration. We also show that there are complementarities between employer sanctions and deportation policies. We use available evidence to check the empirical consistency of the theory. (JEL: J61, K42, O17) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
- Barry Chiswick & Timothy J.. Hatton, 2003.
"International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets,"
in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chiswick, Barry R. & Hatton, Timothy J., 2002. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
- Gil S. Epstien & Avi Weiss, 2001.
"A Theory of Immigration Amnesties,"
2001-09, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
- Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
- Katharine Donato & Jorge Durand & Douglas Massey, 1992. "Stemming the tide? Assessing the deterrent effects of the immigration reform and control act," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 139-157, May.
- Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1999.
"Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?,"
NBER Working Papers
7054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2002. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers From Illegal Immigration?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 73-92, February.
- Hanson, G.H. & Robertson, R. & Spilimbergo, A., 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," Working Papers 438, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
- Slobodan Djajic, 1999. "Dynamics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 45-61.
- Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002.
"Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
- Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Avi Weiss & Arye L. Hillman & Gil S. Epstein, 1999.
"Creating illegal immigrants,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 3-21.
- Guillermina Jasso & Douglas S. Massey & Mark R. Rosenzweig & James P. Smith, 2004.
"The New Immigrant Survey Pilot (NIS-P): Overview and New Findings about U.S. Legal Immigrants at Admission,"
Labor and Demography
- Guillermina Jasso & Douglas Massey & Mark Rosenzweig & James Smith, 2000. "The new immigrant survey pilot (NIS-P): Overview and new findings about U.S. Legal immigrants at admission," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 127-138, February.
- Tiroley, Jean, 2000.
CEI Working Paper Series
2000-1, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
- repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
- Genicot, Garance, 2002. "Bonded labor and serfdom: a paradox of voluntary choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 101-127, February.
- Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
- Galenson, David W., 1984. "The Rise and Fall of Indentured Servitude in the Americas: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 1-26, March.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003.
"The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World,"
NBER Working Papers
9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
- Chau, Nancy H, 2001. "Strategic Amnesty and Credible Immigration Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 604-34, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:6:p:1085-1111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.