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A Theory of Immigration Amnesties

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  • Epstein, Gil S
  • Weiss, Avi

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Epstein, Gil S & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "A Theory of Immigration Amnesties," CEPR Discussion Papers 2830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2002. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers From Illegal Immigration?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 73-92, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 174-183, May.
    4. Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
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    7. Myers, Gordon M. & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 2000. "Immigration control and the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 183-207, February.
    8. Avi Weiss & Arye L. Hillman & Gil S. Epstein, 1999. "Creating illegal immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 3-21.
    9. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. "Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
    10. 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.
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    13. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    14. Rozevitch, Shimon & Weiss, Avi, 1993. "Beneficiaries from Federal Transfers to Municipalities: The Case of Israel," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 335-346, August.
    15. Faini,Riccardo C. & de Melo,Jaime & Zimmermann,Klaus (ed.), 1999. "Migration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662338, April.
    16. repec:fth:michin:438 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    18. Alessandra Venturini, 1999. "Do immigrants working illegally reduce the natives' legal employment? Evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(1), pages 135-154.
    19. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
    20. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    21. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuelle Auriol & Alice Mesnard, 2016. "Sale of Visas: a Smuggler's Final Song?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(332), pages 646-678, October.
    2. Joël MACHADO, 2012. "On the welfare impacts of an immigration amnesty," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Mayr, Karin & Minter, Steffen & Krieger, Tim, 2012. "Policies on illegal immigration in a federation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 153-165.
    4. Gordon Hanson, 2010. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 185-207.
    5. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 869-924, December.
    6. Gil Epstein & Avi Weiss, 2011. "The why, when, and how of immigration amnesties," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 285-316, January.
    7. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-financed Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1085-1111, December.
    8. Alexander Kemnitz & Karin Mayr, 2012. "Return Migration and Illegal Immigration Control," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012040, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    9. Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2007. "Immigration Amnesty and Immigrant's Earnings," Research in Labor Economics,in: Immigration, volume 27, pages 273-309 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    10. Isilda Mara, 2009. "The New Face of Slavery in the Balkans," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 79, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    11. Willi Leibfritz & Paul O'Brien & Jean-Christophe Dumont, 2003. "Effects of Immigration on Labour Markets and Government Budgets - An Overview," CESifo Working Paper Series 874, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Amnesty; Border Controls; Illegal Immigration; Immigration; Internal Controls;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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