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Heaven’s Swing Door: Endogenous skills, migration networks and the effectiveness of quality-selective immigration policies

Listed author(s):
  • Bertoli, Simone
  • Rapoport, Hillel

A growing number of OECD countries are leaning toward adopting quality-selective immigration policies. The underlying assumption behind such policies is that more skill-selection should raise immigrants’ average quality (or education level). This view tends to neglect two important dynamic effects: the role of migration networks, which could reduce immigrants’ quality, and the responsiveness of education decisions to the prospects of migration. Our model shows that migration networks and immigrants’ quality can be positively associated under a set of sufficient conditions regarding the degree of selectivity of immigration policies, the initial pattern of migrants’ self-selection on education, and the way time-equivalent migration costs by education level relate to networks. The results imply that the relationship between networks and immigrants’ quality should vary with the degree of selectivity of immigration policies at destination. Empirical evidence presented as background motivation for this paper suggests that this is indeed the case.

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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1405.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1405
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  1. 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.
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  14. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Bilateral Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 6289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  25. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 2012. "Visa Policies, Networks and the Cliff at the Border," Working Papers 2012-12, FEDEA.
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  28. Ravi Kanbur & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 43-57, January.
  29. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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