IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the welfare impacts of an immigration amnesty

  • Joël MACHADO


    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

This paper aims to assess the effects of an immigration amnesty on agents' welfare by using a simple two-period overlapping generations model. Given that illegal immigrants play a role in the economy even before being regularized, an amnesty differs from new immigration. In the presence of labor market discrimination, capital holders are harmed as the acquisition of legal status increases the wage bill that they pay. The net fiscal effect strongly depends on the discrimination that illegal workers face ex ante. A calibration of the model on Germany and the United Kingdom highlights overall limited economic consequences of amnesty which can be contrasted to the effects of deportation and new legal immigration. In particular, when public welfare expenditures are low, amnesty and new immigration can increase native's welfare in the long run while deportation might harm less-educated agents.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2012010.

in new window

Length: 39
Date of creation: 09 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2012010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
Fax: +32 10473945
Web page:

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. de la Croix,David & Michel,Philippe, 2002. "A Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521001151.
  2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak, 2011. "The Impact of Amnesty on Labor Market Outcomes: A Panel Study Using the Legalized Population Survey," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1106, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0907, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," Working papers 95-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Epstein, Gil S & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "A Theory of Immigration Amnesties," CEPR Discussion Papers 2830, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, 1999. "Undocumented workers in the labor market: An analysis of the earnings of legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 91-116.
  7. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  8. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wido Geis & Wilhelm Kohler, 2008. "Restrictive Immigration Policy in Germany: Pains and Gains Foregone?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2316, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Illegal Immigration and Immigration Control," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 101-15, Summer.
  12. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers 754, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  13. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "What are the consequences of an amnesty for undocumented immigrants?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  15. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  16. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.
  17. Ira N. Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2006. "Immigration Amnesty and Immigrant's Earnings," Departmental Working Papers 200632, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  18. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2011. "Migration and Wage‐setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 286-317, 06.
  19. 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.
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:ctl:louvir:2012010. 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: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST)

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.