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Migration Outflows and Optimal Migration Policy: Rules versus Discretion

Author

Listed:
  • Ismaël Issifou

    (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Francesco Magris

    () (IXXI - Institut Rhône-Alpin des systèmes complexes - UJML - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Inria - Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique - INSA Lyon - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon - Université de Lyon - INSA - Institut National des Sciences Appliquées - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - Université de Tours - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We study the effects of more open borders on return migration and show that migrants are more likely to return to the origin country when migration rules are softer, because this implies that they could more easily re-migrate if return migration is unsuccessful. As a result, softening migration rules leads to lower net inflows than generally acknowledged. We show that if government follows rules to shape the optimal migration policy, it will chose more open borders than in the case its behavior is discretionary. However, this requires an appropriate commitment technology. We show that electoral accountability may be a solution of the commitment problem. As a matter of fact, observed softer immigration rules in western countries suggest the effectiveness of such a mechanism.

Suggested Citation

  • Ismaël Issifou & Francesco Magris, 2015. "Migration Outflows and Optimal Migration Policy: Rules versus Discretion," Working Papers halshs-01207706, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01207706
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01207706
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration Return; Optimal Migration Policy; Time Consistency;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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