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he Political Economy of Trade and Migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress

  • Paola Conconi

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, ECARES and CEPR)

  • Giovanni Facchini

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

  • Max F. Steinhardt

    (Hamburg Institute for International Economics, LdA and CELSI)

  • Maurizio Zanardi

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles and ECARES)

Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives’ behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-à-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, whereas the opposite is true for trade liberalization.

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File URL: http://www.dagliano.unimi.it//media/WP2012_346.pdf
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Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 346.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 13 Nov 2012
Date of revision: 13 Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:346
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