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The Causal Impact of Migration on US Trade: Evidence from Political Refugees

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  • Walter Steingress

Abstract

Immigrants can increase international trade by shifting preferences towards the goods of their country of origin and by reducing bilateral transaction costs. Using geographical variation across U.S. states for the period 2008 to 2013, I estimate the respective causal impact of immigrants on U.S. exports and imports. I address endogeneity and reverse causality by exploiting the exogenous allocation of political refugees within the U.S. refugee resettlement program that prevents immigrants from choosing the destination location. I find that a 10 percent increase in recent immigrants to a U.S. state raises imports from those immigrants’ country of origin by 1.2 percent and exports by 0.8 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Walter Steingress, 2017. "The Causal Impact of Migration on US Trade: Evidence from Political Refugees," Staff Working Papers 17-49, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:17-49
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Peri, Giovanni & Wright, Greg C., 2018. "Immigration, trade and productivity in services: Evidence from U.K. firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 88-108.
    2. Steingress, Walter, 2015. "The Causal Impact of Migration on US Trade: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Michał Burzyński & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2018. "The Changing Structure of Immigration to the OECD: What Welfare Effects on Member Countries?," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(3), pages 564-601, September.
    4. Bratti, Massimiliano & De Benedictis, Luca & Santoni, Gianluca, 2018. "Immigrant entrepreneurs, diasporas and exports," Working Papers 2018-01, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Ispra site).
    5. Hillel Rapoport, 2018. "Diaspora externalities: A view from the South," WIDER Working Paper Series 025, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International topics; Regional economic developments;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • 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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