IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crm/wpaper/1904.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Free Movement, Open Borders and the Global Gains from Labor Mobility

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Dustmann

    (University College London, Department of Economics and CReAM)

  • Ian Preston

    (Department of Economics, University College London and CReAM)

Abstract

Straightforward economic arguments point to the potential for large global output gains from movement of labor from less to more productive locations. Yet the politics of receiving countries seems resistant, characterized rather by efforts to limit migration, or to stop it altogether. In this paper we examine the foundations of claims of large welfare gains through free mobility, studying implications of liberalizing migration for world welfare under a variety of models, paying attention not only to overall gains but also to how gains are distributed, and reviewing attempts to quantify the benefits. We conclude by asking how far considerations beyond economics motivate keenness to impose restrictions on migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2019. "Free Movement, Open Borders and the Global Gains from Labor Mobility," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1904, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1904
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cream-migration.org/publ_uploads/CDP_04_19.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Rodriguez, Carlos, 1975. "Welfare-theoretical analyses of the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 195-221, September.
    3. Albert Bollard & David McKenzie & Melanie Morten & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Remittances and the Brain Drain Revisited: The Microdata Show That More Educated Migrants Remit More," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 132-156, May.
    4. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2012. "Immigration, Wages, And Compositional Amenities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 78-119, February.
    5. Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "On the economics and politics of refugee migration," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(91), pages 497-550.
    6. Patricia Cortés & José Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
    7. Michel Beine & Fréderic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2008. "Brain Drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries: Winners and Losers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 631-652, April.
    8. Christian Dustmann & Kristine Vasiljeva & Anna Piil Damm, 2019. "Refugee Migration and Electoral Outcomes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(5), pages 2035-2091.
    9. Michael Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? - Working Paper 264," Working Papers 264, Center for Global Development.
    10. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    11. Kjetil Storesletten, 2000. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 300-323, April.
    12. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
    13. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    14. Marco Delogu & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2018. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 223-258, June.
    15. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2014. "The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 593-643, November.
    16. Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2012. "Globalization, Brain Drain, and Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(3), pages 681-730, September.
    17. Joan Monras, 2020. "Immigration and Wage Dynamics: Evidence from the Mexican Peso Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(8), pages 3017-3089.
    18. Dustmann Christian & Preston Ian P, 2007. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-41, November.
    19. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in the Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 663-708, June.
    20. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Anna Rosso, 2015. "The Effect of Emigration from Poland on Polish Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 522-564, April.
    21. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "International Migration, Non-Traded Goods and Economic Welfare in the Source Country," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Francisco L Rivera-Batiz (ed.), International and Interregional Migration Theory and Evidence, chapter 5, pages 77-88, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    22. Dustmann, Christian & Okatenko, Anna, 2014. "Out-migration, wealth constraints, and the quality of local amenities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 52-63.
    23. Julian Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Francesc Ortega, 2015. "A Global View Of Cross-Border Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 168-202, February.
    24. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
    25. Ian Preston, 2014. "The Effect of Immigration on Public Finances," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 569-592, November.
    26. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Maggie R. Jones & Sonya R. Porter, 2018. "Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective," Working Papers 18-40, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    27. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    28. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    29. Mountford, Andrew & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "The brain drain and the world distribution of income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 4-17, May.
    30. Davies, James B & Wooton, Ian, 1992. "Income Inequality and International Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 789-802, July.
    31. Liu, Zhiqiang, 2005. "Institution and inequality: the hukou system in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-157, March.
    32. Aubry, Amandine & Burzyński, Michał & Docquier, Frédéric, 2016. "The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-21.
    33. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    34. Martin Halla & Alexander F. Wagner & Josef Zweimüller, 2017. "Immigration and Voting for the Far Right," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(6), pages 1341-1385.
    35. Song, Yang, 2014. "What should economists know about the current Chinese hukou system?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 200-212.
    36. Otto, Alkis Henri & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2014. "Immigration and election outcomes — Evidence from city districts in Hamburg," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 67-79.
    37. John Kennan, 2016. "Open Borders in the European Union and Beyond: Migration Flows and Labor Market Implications," 2016 Meeting Papers 1359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    38. Berry, R Albert & Soligo, Ronald, 1969. "Some Welfare Aspects of International Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 778-794, Sept./Oct.
    39. Nannestad, Peter, 2007. "Immigration and welfare states: A survey of 15 years of research," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 512-532, June.
    40. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-1149, September.
    41. Joan Llull, 2018. "The Effect of Immigration on Wages: Exploiting Exogenous Variation at the National Level," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(3), pages 608-662.
    42. Kjetil Storesletten, 2003. "Fiscal Implications of Immigration—A Net Present Value Calculation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 487-506, September.
    43. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
    44. Barone, Guglielmo & D'Ignazio, Alessio & de Blasio, Guido & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2016. "Mr. Rossi, Mr. Hu and politics. The role of immigration in shaping natives' voting behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-13.
    45. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    46. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    47. 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.
    48. Klein, Paul & Ventura, Gustavo, 2009. "Productivity differences and the dynamic effects of labor movements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1059-1073, November.
    49. Xavier Chojnicki, 2013. "The Fiscal Impact of Immigration in France: A Generational Accounting Approach," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(8), pages 1065-1090, August.
    50. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
    51. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "Trade Theory, Distribution of Income and Immigration," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Francisco L Rivera-Batiz (ed.), International and Interregional Migration Theory and Evidence, chapter 1, pages 3-11, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    52. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Ian P. Preston, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration along the Distribution of Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 145-173.
    53. 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.
    54. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645, Elsevier.
    55. Moses, Jonathon W. & Letnes, Bjorn, 2004. "The Economic Costs to International Labor Restrictions: Revisiting the Empirical Discussion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1609-1626, October.
    56. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
    57. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
    58. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg & Jan Stuhler, 2016. "The Impact of Immigration: Why Do Studies Reach Such Different Results?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 31-56, Fall.
    59. Martin Ruhs, 2013. "The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10140, April.
    60. Jagdish Bhagwati, 1984. "Incentives and disincentives: International migration," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 120(4), pages 678-701, December.
    61. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-774, September.
    62. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(2), pages 153-168, May.
    63. Klein Paul & Ventura Gustavo J, 2007. "TFP Differences and the Aggregate Effects of Labor Mobility in the Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, May.
    64. 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.
    65. George J. Borjas, 2015. "Immigration and Globalization: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(4), pages 961-974, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cardoso, Miguel, 2020. "The welfare impact of migration with endogenous cross-border movement: An application to the European Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 205-216.
    2. Michael Lokshin & Martin Ravallion, 2019. "A Market for Work Permits," NBER Working Papers 26590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alejandro Vega-Muñoz & Paloma Gónzalez-Gómez-del-Miño & Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, 2021. "Recognizing New Trends in Brain Drain Studies in the Framework of Global Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(6), pages 1-27, March.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr & Arthur Sweetman, 2020. "An introduction to the economics of immigration in OECD countries," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1365-1403, November.
    2. Marco Delogu & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2018. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 223-258, June.
    3. Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Microeconometric Analyses on Economic Consequences of Selective Migration," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61, August.
    4. Noel Gaston & Douglas R. Nelson, 2013. "Bridging Trade Theory And Labour Econometrics: The Effects Of International Migration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 98-139, February.
    5. Hatton, Timothy J., 2014. "The economics of international migration: A short history of the debate," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 43-50.
    6. Biavaschi, Costanza & Burzyński, Michał & Elsner, Benjamin & Machado, Joël, 2020. "Taking the skill bias out of global migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    7. Anthony Edo & Lionel Ragot & Hillel Rapoport & Sulin Sardoschau & Andreas Steinmayr, 2018. "The Effects of Immigration in Developed Countries: Insights from Recent Economic Research," CEPII Policy Brief 2018-22, CEPII research center.
    8. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
    9. Christian Dustmann & Giovanni Facchini & Cora Signorotto, 2015. "Population, Migration, Ageing and Health: A Survey," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1518, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    10. Chasapopoulos, Panagiotis, 2018. "The impact of international immigration and cultural diversity on economic performance, public attitudes and political outcomes in European regions," Other publications TiSEM d4a10f2a-c1a2-4edd-9887-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Bredtmann, Julia, 2020. "Immigration and electoral outcomes: Evidence from the 2015 refugee inflow to Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 886, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado & Khalid Sekkat, 2015. "Efficiency Gains from Liberalizing Labor Mobility," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 303-346, April.
    13. Clemens, Michael A. & Pritchett, Lant, 2019. "The new economic case for migration restrictions: An assessment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 153-164.
    14. Michał BURZYŃSKI, 2014. "Trading Goods or Human Capital The Winners and Losers of Economic Integration," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2014022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    15. Ferrie, Joseph & Hatton, Timothy J., 2013. "Two Centuries of International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7866, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Rozo, Sandra V. & Vargas, Juan F., 2021. "Brothers or invaders? How crisis-driven migrants shape voting behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    17. Edo, Anthony & Rapoport, Hillel, 2019. "Minimum wages and the labor market effects of immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    18. Clemens, Michael & Pritchett, Lant, 2016. "The New Case for Migration Restrictions: An Assessment," Working Paper Series rwp16-054, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    19. Bettin, Giulia & Sacchi, Agnese, 2020. "Health spending in Italy: The impact of immigrants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    20. Aubry, Amandine & Burzyński, Michał & Docquier, Frédéric, 2016. "The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-21.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1904. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cmucluk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CReAM Administrator or Thomas Cornelissen (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cmucluk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.