IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Spending More is Spending Less: Policy Dilemmas on Irregular Migration

  • Alessandra Casarico

    ()

    (Bocconi University, CES-Ifo, Econpubblica and Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano)

  • Giovanni Facchini

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Milan, CEPR, CES-Ifo,CReAM, IZA, and LdA)

  • Tommaso Frattini

    (University of Milan, CReAM, IZA and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)

We study the migration policy set by a welfare maximizing government in a model where immigrant workers differ in their skills and are imperfectly matched with heterogenous occupations. The policy fixes a minimum skill level for legal migrants, and foreign workers that fall below it can only enter the country illegally. We start by analyzing under which conditions an amnesty is desirable compared to tolerating undocumented immigrants. Next, we study when it is preferable to have ex-ante lax enforcement, rather than to carry out costly enforcement. We show that three channels play an important role in this decision: an amnesty is more likely the larger are the output gains brought about by the legalization, the less redistributive is the welfare state and the higher is the expected cost of criminal activities carried out by illegal immigrants. Importantly, we also find that, when an amnesty is desirable, the destination country would reach an even higher welfare level investing in enforcement ex-ante. Empirical evidence based on a novel panel dataset of legalization programs carried out by a group of OECD countries between 1980-2007 broadly supports the role played by the channels identified in our theoretical model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.dagliano.unimi.it//media/WP2012_330.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 330.

as
in new window

Length: 48
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2012
Date of revision: 27 Mar 2012
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:330
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Via Conservatorio 7 - 20122 Milano

Phone: +39 02 503 16486
Fax: +39 02 503 16475
Web page: http://www.dagliano.unimi.it/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mendes de Oliveira, M. & Santos, M. C. & Kiker, B. F., 2000. "The role of human capital and technological change in overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 199-206, April.
  3. Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "Measuring Over-education," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(279), pages 509-531, 08.
  4. Stephen Karlson & Eliakim Katz, 2010. "Immigration amnesties," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(18), pages 2299-2315.
  5. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2010. "The rhetoric of closed borders: quotas, lax enforcement and illegal migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2010001, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2011. "Immigration: The European Experience," Development Working Papers 326, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 27 Dec 2011.
  7. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  8. Tito Boeri, 2010. "Immigration to the Land of Redistribution," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 651-687, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 2002. "Tax burden and migration: a political economy theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 167-190, August.
  11. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.
  12. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2003. "Do amnesty programs reduce undocumented immigration? Evidence from Irca," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(3), pages 437-450, August.
  13. TimothyJ. Hatton, 2009. "The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages F183-F213, 02.
  14. Chau, Nancy H, 2001. "Strategic Amnesty and Credible Immigration Reform," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 604-34, July.
  15. Gordon H. Hanson, 2006. "Illegal Migration from Mexico to the United States," NBER Working Papers 12141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:330. 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: (Chiara Elli)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.