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The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants

  • Francesc Ortega
  • Giovanni Peri

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

This paper makes two contributions to the literature on the determinants of international migration flows. First, we compile a new dataset on annual bilateral migration flows covering 15 OECD destination countries and 120 sending countries for the period 1980-2006. We also collect data on time-varying immigration policies that regulate the entry of immigrants for our destination countries over this period. Second, we extend the empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations developed by Grogger and Hanson (2011) by allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. Our estimates show that international migration flows are highly responsive to income per capita at destination. This elasticity is twice as high for within-EU migration, reflecting the higher degree of labor mobility within the European Union. We also find that tightening of laws regulating immigrant entry reduce rapidly and significantly their flow.

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1214.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:12-14
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  1. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
  2. Prachi Mishra & Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2008. "Do Interest Groups Affect U.S. Immigration Policy?," IMF Working Papers 08/244, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2008. "International Migration and the Role of Institutions," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 012, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  4. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 79-100.
  5. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei Levchenko & Francesc Ortega, 2014. "A Global View of Cross-Border Migration," NBER Working Papers 20002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2004. "On The Political Economy Of Immigration And Income Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1129-1168, November.
  7. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
  8. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  9. David McKenzie & Caroline Theoharides & Dean Yang, 2014. "Distortions in the International Migrant Labor Market: Evidence from Filipino Migration and Wage Responses to Destination Country Economic Shocks," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 49-75, April.
  10. Giovanni Facchini & Max Steinhardt, 2010. "What drives US Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," Development Working Papers 294, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  11. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2011. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  12. Pilar García Gómez & Guillem López, 2003. "Hypothesis on immigration and welfare," Economics Working Papers 905, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
  13. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2010. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 95-136, 02.
  14. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.
  16. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga & Francesc Ortega, 2010. "Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1001, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  17. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Ortega, Francesc & Polavieja, Javier G., 2012. "Labor-market exposure as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 298-311.
  19. Ortega, Francesc, 2009. "Immigration, Citizenship, and the Size of Government," IZA Discussion Papers 4528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. 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.
  21. 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).
  22. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  23. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Libertad González Luna & Francesc Ortega, 2009. "Immigration and housing booms: Evidence from Spain," Economics Working Papers 1167, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  25. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
  26. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
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