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Prejudice and Immigration

  • Paolo E Giordani
  • Michele Ruta

We study immigration policy in a small open receiving economy under self-selection of migrants. We show that immigration policy choice affects and is affected by the migratory decisions of skilled and unskilled foreign workers. From this interaction multiple equilibria may arise, which are driven by the natives' expectations on the migrants' size and skill composition (and, hence, on the welfare effects of immigration). In particular, pessimistic (optimistic) beliefs induce a country to impose higher (lower) barriers to immigration, which crowd out (crowd in) skilled migrants and thus confirm initial beliefs. This self-fulfilling mechanism sustains the endogenous formation of an anti or pro-immigration "prejudice". These insights may help rationalize the cross-country variation in attitudes towards immigration and choices of immigration policy.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 122247000000002276.

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Date of creation: 28 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000002276
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  1. Belot, Michèle & Hatton, Timothy J., 2008. "Immigrant Selection in The OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 6675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "International Migration in the Long-Run: Positive Selection, Negative Selection and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1193-1224, September.
  4. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2008. "From individual attitudes towards migrants to migration policy outcomes: Theory and evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 651-713, October.
  5. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
  6. Casella, Alessandra, 2002. "Redistribution Policy: A European Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3620, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Brücker, Herbert & Defoort, Cécily, 2006. "The (Self-)Selection of International Migrants Reconsidered: Theory and New Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2052, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  9. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Braeuninger, M. & Vidal, J.-P., 1999. "Private Versus Public Financing of Education and Endogenous Growth," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99a11, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  12. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  13. Cohen, Alon & Razin, Assaf, 2008. "The Skill Composition of Immigrants and the Generosity of the Welfare State: Free vs. Policy-Controlled Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 7034, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 2007. "Immigration Policy, Self-selection, and the Quality of Immigrants," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 869-877, November.
  15. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
  16. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374.
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