IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecl/harjfk/rwp16-054.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The New Case for Migration Restrictions: An Assessment

Author

Listed:
  • Clemens, Michael

    (Center for Global Development, Washington, DC)

  • Pritchett, Lant

    (Harvard University and Center for Global Development, Washington, DC)

Abstract

For decades, migration economics has stressed the effects of migration restrictions on income distribution in the host country. Recently the literature has taken a new direction by estimating the costs of migration restrictions to global economic efficiency. In contrast, a new strand of research posits that migration restrictions could be not only desirably redistributive, but in fact globally efficient. This is the new economic case for migration restrictions. The case rests on the possibility that without tight restrictions on migration, migrants from poor countries could transmit low productivity ("A" or Total Factor Productivity) to rich countries--offsetting efficiency gains from the spatial reallocation of labor from low to high-productivity places. We provide a novel assessment, proposing a simple model of dynamically efficient migration under productivity transmission and calibrating it with new macro and micro data. In this model, the case for efficiency-enhancing migration barriers rests on three parameters: transmission, the degree to which origin-country total factor productivity is embodied in migrants; assimilation, the degree to which migrants' productivity determinants become like natives' over time in the host country; and congestion, the degree to which transmission and assimilation change at higher migrant stocks. On current evidence about the magnitudes of these parameters, dynamically efficient policy would not imply open borders but would imply relaxations on current restrictions. That is, the new efficiency case for some migration restrictions is empirically a case against the stringency of current restrictions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp16-054
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/getFile.aspx?Id=1466
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Maurice Schiff, 2013. "International migration, transfer of norms and home country fertility," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1406-1430, November.
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    3. Richard B. Freeman, 2006. "People Flows in Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 145-170, Spring.
    4. Marta Guerriero, 2019. "The Labor Share of Income Around the World: Evidence from a Panel Dataset," ADB Institute Series on Development Economics, in: Gary Fields & Saumik Paul (ed.), Labor Income Share in Asia, chapter 0, pages 39-79, Springer.
    5. Jeffrey V. Butler & Paola Giuliano & Luigi Guiso, 2016. "The Right Amount Of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(5), pages 1155-1180, October.
    6. Gharad Bryan & Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 2014. "Underinvestment in a Profitable Technology: The Case of Seasonal Migration in Bangladesh," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(5), pages 1671-1748, September.
    7. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    8. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
    9. Emily A. Beam & David McKenzie & Dean Yang, 2016. "Unilateral Facilitation Does Not Raise International Labor Migration from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 323-368.
    10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    11. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    12. Linguère Mbaye, 2014. "“Barcelona or die”: understanding illegal migration from Senegal," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-19, December.
    13. Colin Camerer & Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers: One Day at a Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 407-441.
    14. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
    15. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2010. "Post-1500 Population Flows and The Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1627-1682.
    16. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    17. Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús & Rapoport, Hillel, 2014. "Tradable immigration quotas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 94-108.
    18. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
    19. 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.
    20. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 79-100.
    21. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "Rethinking The Effect Of Immigration On Wages," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 9, pages 245-290, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    22. Mariya Aleksynska & Giovanni Peri, 2014. "Isolating the Network Effect of Immigrants on Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 434-455, March.
    23. J. Clark & Robert Lawson & Alex Nowrasteh & Benjamin Powell & Ryan Murphy, 2015. "Does immigration impact institutions?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 321-335, June.
    24. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    25. Jess Benhabib & Boyan Jovanovic, 2012. "Optimal Migration: A World Perspective," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 321-348, May.
    26. 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.
    27. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    28. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01t435gd01h is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Javorcik, Beata S. & Özden, Çaglar & Spatareanu, Mariana & Neagu, Cristina, 2011. "Migrant networks and foreign direct investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 231-241, March.
    30. William R. Kerr, 2008. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 518-537, August.
    31. Dany Bahar & Hillel Rapoport, 2018. "Migration, Knowledge Diffusion and the Comparative Advantage of Nations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 273-305, July.
    32. Robert A. Lawson & Saurav Roychoudhury, 2016. "Do travel visa requirements impede tourist travel?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(4), pages 817-828, October.
    33. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro & Bruce Rhodes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1997. "A Test of the Theory of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 479-505.
    34. Bruce Wydick & Paul Glewwe & Laine Rutledge, 2013. "Does International Child Sponsorship Work? A Six-Country Study of Impacts on Adult Life Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 393-436.
    35. Simone Bertoli & J. Fernandes-Huertas Moraga, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Post-Print halshs-00820169, HAL.
    36. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    37. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    38. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, September.
    39. Stillman, Steven & Gibson, John & McKenzie, David & Rohorua, Halahingano, 2015. "Miserable Migrants? Natural Experiment Evidence on International Migration and Objective and Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 79-93.
    40. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
    41. 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.
    42. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    43. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    44. 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.
    45. Prachi Mishra, 2014. "Emigration and wages in source countries: a survey of the empirical literature," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 9, pages 241-266, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    46. Hausman, Daniel M & McPherson, Michael S, 1993. "Taking Ethics Seriously: Economics and Contemporary Moral Philosophy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 671-731, June.
    47. Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of Economic Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
    48. Daniel Müller & Benno Torgler & Eric M. Uslaner, 2012. "Inherited Trust and Growth - Comment," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    49. Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The Effect Of Immigration On Productivity: Evidence From U.S. States," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 8, pages 265-275, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    50. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
    51. Branko Milanovic, 2013. "Global Income Inequality in Numbers: in History and Now," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 4(2), pages 198-208, May.
    52. 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.
    53. Jerry Hausman, 2012. "Contingent Valuation: From Dubious to Hopeless," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 43-56, Fall.
    54. 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.
    55. 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.
    56. Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Comparing Real Wage Rates: Presidential Address," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 617-642, April.
    57. Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Comparing Real Wage Rates," Working Papers 1384, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    58. Lewis, Ethan & Peri, Giovanni, 2015. "Immigration and the Economy of Cities and Regions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 625-685, Elsevier.
    59. 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.
    60. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
    61. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
    62. LaLonde, Robert J & Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 297-302, May.
    63. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
    64. Daniel Müller & Benno Torgler & Eric M. Uslaner, 2012. "A Comment on “Inherited Trust and Growth”," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1481-1488.
    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. Els BEKEART & Ilse RUYSSEN & Sara SALOMONE, 2021. "Domestic and International Migration Intentions in Response to Environmental Stress: A Global Cross-country Analysis," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 383-436, September.

    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. 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.
    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. Alexandre Padilla & Nicolás Cachanosky, 2018. "The Grecian horse: does immigration lead to the deterioration of American institutions?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(3), pages 351-405, March.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Johann Harnoss & Hillel Rapoport, 2016. "Birthplace diversity and economic prosperity," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 101-138, June.
    7. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    8. Christian Dustmann & Ian P. Preston, 2019. "Free Movement, Open Borders, and the Global Gains from Labor Mobility," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 783-808, August.
    9. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Openness and income: The roles of trade and migration," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 10, pages 309-329, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Leonardo Becchetti & Berkan Acar, 2021. "Public Opinion Views on Immigrants’ Contribution to the Local Economy: the Role of TV Exposure," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 7(3), pages 509-532, November.
    11. 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).
    12. Thu Hien DAO & Frédéric DOCQUIER & Mathilde MAUREL & Pierre SCHAUS, 2017. "Global Migration in the 20th and 21st Centuries: the Unstoppable Force of Demography," Working Paper 96d89f28-0e80-4703-9b33-6, Agence française de développement.
    13. Thu Hien Dao & Frédéric Docquier & Mathilde Maurel & Pierre Schaus, 2021. "Global migration in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the unstoppable force of demography," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 157(2), pages 417-449, May.
    14. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 179-208, May.
    15. Michael A. Clemens, 2016. "Losing our minds? New research directions on skilled emigration and development," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1227-1248, October.
    16. Luca Marchiori & I-Ling Shen & Frédéric Docquier, 2013. "Brain Drain In Globalization: A General Equilibrium Analysis From The Sending Countries' Perspective," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1582-1602, April.
    17. George J. Borjas, 2015. "Immigration and Globalization: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(4), pages 961-974, December.
    18. David de la Croix & Frederic Docquier, 2015. "An Incentive Mechanism to Break the Low-skill Immigration Deadlock," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 593-618, July.
    19. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
    20. Fernando Rios-Avila & Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza, 0. "The Effect of Immigration on Labor Market Transitions of Native-Born Unemployed in the United States," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-37.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    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:ecl:harjfk:rwp16-054. 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/ksharus.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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ksharus.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.