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The Why, When and How of Immigration Amnesties

Author

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  • Gil S. Epstein

    () (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University)

  • Avi Weiss

    () (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

This paper presents some of the many issues involved in the granting of an amnesty to illegal immigrants. Complementing studies by Chau (2001, 2003), Karlson and Katz (2003) and Gang and Yun (2006), we consider government behavior with respect to allocations on limiting infiltration (border control) and apprehending infiltrators (internal control) and with respect to the granting of amnesties, the timing of amnesties, and limitations on eligibility for those amnesties. We demonstrate the effects of government actions on allocations and the flow of immigrants, and how the interactions between these factors combine to yield an optimal amnesty policy. We also consider two extensions – intertemporal transfers of policing funds and “fuzziness” in declarations regarding eligibility for an amnesty aimed at apprehending and deporting undesirables.

Suggested Citation

  • Gil S. Epstein & Avi Weiss, 2009. "The Why, When and How of Immigration Amnesties," Working Papers 2009-24, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2009-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
    2. Chau, Nancy H, 2001. "Strategic Amnesty and Credible Immigration Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 604-634, July.
    3. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
    4. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338, May.
    5. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2009. "Measuring ethnic linkages among migrants," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 56-69, March.
    6. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-9121(07)00007-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
    8. Myers, Gordon M. & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 2000. "Immigration control and the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 183-207, February.
    9. Avi Weiss & Arye L. Hillman & Gil S. Epstein, 1999. "Creating illegal immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 3-21.
    10. Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1999. "A theory of permissible illegal immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 585-604, November.
    11. Epstein, Gil S & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "A Theory of Immigration Amnesties," CEPR Discussion Papers 2830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    13. Alessandra Venturini, 1999. "Do immigrants working illegally reduce the natives' legal employment? Evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 135-154.
    14. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.
    15. Slobodan Djajic, 1999. "Dynamics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 45-61.
    16. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
    17. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    18. Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2007. "Immigration Amnesty and Immigrant's Earnings," Research in Labor Economics,in: Immigration, volume 27, pages 273-309 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
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    21. Rozevitch, Shimon & Weiss, Avi, 1993. "Beneficiaries from Federal Transfers to Municipalities: The Case of Israel," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 335-346, August.
    22. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mayr, Karin & Minter, Steffen & Krieger, Tim, 2012. "Policies on illegal immigration in a federation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 153-165.
    2. Magris, Francesco & Russo, Giuseppe, 2016. "Fiscal Revenues and Commitment in Immigration Amnesties," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 75-90.
    3. Gemma Larramona & Marcos Sanso-Navarro, 2016. "Do Regularization Programs for Illegal Immigrants Have a Magnet Effect? Evidence from Spain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(2), pages 296-311, March.
    4. Giuseppe Russo, 2011. "Voting over selective immigration policies with immigration aversion," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 325-351, December.
    5. Sara de la Rica & Albretch Glitz & Francesc Ortega, 2013. "Immigration in Europe: Trends, Policies and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 2013-16, FEDEA.
    6. Casarico, Alessandra & Facchini, Giovanni & Frattini, Tommaso, 2016. "What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA," IZA Discussion Papers 9666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler, 2007. "Illegal Migration, Enforcement and Minimum Wage," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0708, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    8. Mangin, Sephorah & Zenou, Yves, 2016. "Illegal migration and policy enforcement," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 83-86.
    9. Djajić, Slobodan & Vinogradova, Alexandra, 2013. "Undocumented migrants in debt," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 15-24.
    10. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Spending More is Spending Less: Policy Dilemmas on Irregular Migration," Development Working Papers 330, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Mar 2012.
    11. 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.
    12. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Spending more is spending less: on the desirability of enforcing migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012006, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    13. Alessandra Casarico & Giovanni Facchini & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "What Drives Immigration Amnesties?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3981, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Amnesty; Immigration; Illegal Immigration; Border Controls; Internal Controls;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • H59 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Other

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