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Do Interest Groups Affects US Immigration Policy?

  • Giovanni Facchini

    ()

    (University of Milan, University of Essex, LdA, CEPR and CES-Ifo)

  • Anna Maria Mayda

    ()

    (Georgetown University and LdA)

  • Prachi Mishra

    ()

    (International Monetary Fund)

While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration policy, there is no systematic empirical analysis of this issue. In this paper, we construct an industry-level dataset for the United States, by combining information on the number of temporary work visas with data on lobbying activity associated with immigration. We find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business interest groups incur larger lobby expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.

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Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 256.

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Length: 60
Date of creation: 30 Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:256
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