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Product Complexity, Quality of Institutions and the Pro-Trade Effect of Immigrants

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  • Briant, Anthony
  • Combes, Pierre-Philippe
  • Lafourcade, Miren

Abstract

The paper assesses the trade-creating impact of foreign-born residents on the international imports and exports of the French regions where they are settled. The pro-trade effect of immigrants is investigated along two intertwined dimensions: the complexity of traded goods and the quality of institutions in partner countries. The trade-enhancing impact of immigrants is, on average,more salient when they come froma country with weak institutions. However, this positive impact is especially large on the imports of simple products. When we turn to complex goods, for which the information channel conveyed by immigrants is the most valuable, immigration enhances imports regardless of the quality of institutions in the partner country. Regarding exports, immigrants substitute for weak institutions on both simple and complex goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Briant, Anthony & Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren, 2009. "Product Complexity, Quality of Institutions and the Pro-Trade Effect of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 7192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7192
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    Keywords

    gravity; immigration; product complexity; quality of institutions; trade;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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