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A Theory of Immigration Amnesties

  • Epstein, Gil S
  • Weiss, Avi

This paper presents a first attempt at understanding some of the many issues involved in the granting of an amnesty to illegal immigrants. We consider government behavior with respect to allocations on limiting infiltration (border control) and apprehending infiltrators (internal control) and, with respect to the granting of amnesties, the timing of amnesties, and limitations on eligibility for those amnesties. We demonstrate the effects of government actions on allocations and the flow of immigrants, and how the interactions between these factors combine to yield an optimal amnesty policy. We also consider various extensions such as intertemporal transfers of policing funds, risk-aversion, and ‘fuzziness’ in declarations regarding eligibility for an amnesty aimed at apprehending and deporting undesirables.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2830.

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Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2830
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  1. Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1999. "A theory of permissible illegal immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 585-604, November.
  2. Slobodan Djajic, 1999. "Dynamics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 45-61.
  3. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. " Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
  4. Hanson, G.H. & Robertson, R. & Spilimbergo, A., 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," Working Papers 438, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. repec:oup:restud:v:42:y:1975:i:2:p:169-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, 09.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  8. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L., 2000. "Social Harmony At The Boundaries Of The Welfare State: Immigrants And Social Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  11. Gordon M Myers & Yorgos Y Papageorgiou, 1997. "Immigration Control and the Welfare State," Department of Economics Working Papers 1997-01, McMaster University.
  12. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  13. Alessandra Venturini, 1999. "Do immigrants working illegally reduce the natives' legal employment? Evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 135-154.
  14. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  15. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338.
  16. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  17. Avi Weiss & Arye L. Hillman & Gil S. Epstein, 1999. "Creating illegal immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 3-21.
  18. Rozevitch, Shimon & Weiss, Avi, 1993. " Beneficiaries from Federal Transfers to Municipalities: The Case of Israel," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 335-46, August.
  19. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  20. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
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