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Is there too little immigration? an analysis of temporary skilled migration

  • Subhayu Bandyopadhyay
  • Howard J. Wall

This paper presents a model of legal migration of temporary skilled workers from one source country to two host countries, both of which can control their levels of such immigration. Because of complementarities between capital and labor, the return on capital is positively related to the level of immigration. Consequently, when capital is immobile, host nations’ optimal levels of immigration are positively related to their capital endowments. Further, when capital is mobile between the host nations, the common return on capital is a function of the levels of immigration in both countries, meaning that immigration is a public good. As a result, when immigration imposes costs on host countries, the Nash equilibrium results in free riding and less immigration than would occur in the cooperative equilibrium. These results are qualitatively unaltered when capital mobility extends to the source nation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2006-062.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, June 2008, 17(2), pp. 197-211
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2006-062
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  7. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu, 1996. "Growth, welfare and optimal trade taxes: a fallacy of composition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 369-380, August.
  8. 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.
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  10. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
  12. Panagariya, Arvind & Schiff, Maurice, 1994. "Can revenue maximizing export taxes yield higher welfare than welfare maximizing export taxes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 79-84, May.
  13. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
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