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The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?

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  • Timothy Hatton

Abstract

In the last 20 years, developed countries have struggled with what seemed to be an ever rising tide of asylum seekers, a trend that has now gone into reverse. This paper examines what happened and why. How have oppression, violence and economic conditions in origin countries shaped worldwide trends in asylum applications? And has the toughening of policy towards asylum seekers since 2001 reduced the numbers? What policies have been effective and which host countries have been most affected? This paper surveys the trends in asylum seeking since the 1980s and the literature that it has generated and it provides new regression estimates of the determinants of asylum applications up to the present. The key findings are first, that violence and terror can account for much of the variation across source countries and over time but it cannot fully explain the original surge in asylum applications during the 1980s. And second, while tougher policies did have a deterrent effect, they account for only about a third of the decline in applications since 2001.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Hatton, 2008. "The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?," CEPR Discussion Papers 577, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:577
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    File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/CEPR/DP577.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christina Davenport & Will Moore & Steven Poe, 2003. "Sometimes You Just Have to Leave: Domestic Threats and Forced Migration, 1964-1989," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 27-55, January.
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    3. Timothy Hatton & Audrey Lim, 2005. "Australian Asylum Policy: The Tampa Effect," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 115-130.
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    5. Timothy J. Hatton, 2005. "European Asylum Policy," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 194(1), pages 106-119, October.
    6. Eric Neumayer, 2003. "Bogus Refugees? The Determinants of Asylum Migration to Western Europe," Labor and Demography 0311002, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 May 2004.
    7. Timothy J. Hatton, 2009. "The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 183-213, February.
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    9. Hatton, Timothy J. & Lim, Audrey, 2005. "The 'Tampa' Effect. Australian Asylum Policy in International Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Policy in Europe," Springer Books, in: Rolf J. Langhammer & Federico Foders (ed.), Labor Mobility and the World Economy, pages 249-284, Springer.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asylum; refugees; immigration policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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