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Opening the borders: immigration policy, migrants' selection and human capital accumulation


  • G. Bellettini
  • C. Berti Ceroni


This paper investigates the economic consequences of international migration from the point of view of destination countries. Consistently with international evidence on migration flows, we build a model where the migration rate is higher among the highly educated. A negative relationship is shown to exist between the domestic wage level and the percentage of educated workers among immigrants, which raises interesting policy implications. In particular, the optimal immigration policy from the point of view of natives requires an immigration quota above a certain minimum level. Extending the analysis to a dynamic setting, we highlight additional effects of the immigration quota on human capital accumulation among natives.

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  • G. Bellettini & C. Berti Ceroni, 2003. "Opening the borders: immigration policy, migrants' selection and human capital accumulation," Working Papers 473, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:473

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lundborg, Per & Segerstrom, Paul S., 2002. "The growth and welfare effects of international mass migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 177-204, January.
    2. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, January.
      • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, January.
    3. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2001. "Brain drain and economic growth: theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 275-289, February.
    4. George J. Borjas, 1993. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States, pages 21-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    6. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, January.
    7. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
    8. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Attila Melegh & Elena Kondratieva & Perttu Salmenhaara & Annika Forsander & László Hablicsek & Adrienn Hegyesi, 2005. "Globalisation, ethnicity and international migration. The comparison of Finland, Hungary and Russia," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 49(5), pages 123-167.
    2. Michael S. Michael, 2006. "Are Migration Policies that Induce Skilled (Unskilled) Migration Beneficial (Harmful) for the Host Country?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1814, CESifo Group Munich.

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