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What Drives Immigration Amnesties?

  • Alessandra Casarico
  • Giovanni Facchini
  • Tommaso Frattini

We develop a general model of legal and illegal immigration to understand the basic tradeoffs faced by a government in the decision to implement an immigration amnesty in the presence of a selective immigration policy. We show that two channels play an important role: an amnesty is more likely the more restricted are the occupational opportunities of undocumented immigrants and the less redistributive is the welfare state. Empirical evidence based on a novel panel dataset of legalizations carried out by a group of OECD countries between 1980-2007 broadly supports the role played by the channels identified in our theoretical model.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-10/cesifo1_wp3981.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3981.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3981
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  1. Tito Boeri, 2009. "Immigration to the land of redistribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53364, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Assaf Razin & Effraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: A Political Economy Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gil Epstein & Avi Weiss, 2011. "The why, when, and how of immigration amnesties," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 285-316, January.
  4. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Looking Into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," CEP Discussion Papers dp0470, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, 08.
  6. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Do amnesty programs reduce undocumented immigration? Evidence from Irca," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 437-450, August.
  7. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Facchini, Giovanni & Testa, Cecilia, 2011. "The rhetoric of closed borders: quotas, lax enforcement and illegal migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 8245, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Dustmann, Christian & Frattini, Tommaso, 2011. "Immigration: The European Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 6261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.
  11. Mendes de Oliveira, M. & Santos, M. C. & Kiker, B. F., 2000. "The role of human capital and technological change in overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 199-206, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Chau, Nancy H, 2001. "Strategic Amnesty and Credible Immigration Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 604-34, July.
  14. Stephen Karlson & Eliakim Katz, 2010. "Immigration amnesties," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(18), pages 2299-2315.
  15. Lars P. Feld & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Survey on the Shadow Economy and Undeclared Earnings in OECD Countries," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 109-149, 05.
  16. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
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