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Is There a Numbers vs. Rights Trade-off in Immigration Policy? What the Data Say

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Cummins

    () (Capacity Development Group of the United Nations Development Programme)

  • Francisco Rodriguez

    () (Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme)

Abstract

This paper explores the empirical support behind the idea that there is a trade-off between the size of the migrant population and the rights and entitlements enjoyed by immigrants. We first look at the empirical correlation between measures of migrants’ rights and the size of the stock of immigrants in a number of existing databases. Using data on migrants’ rights from three recent studies—the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Migrant Accessibility Index, the Migration Policy Group and British Council’s Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) and the Human Development Report Office’s Migrant Entitlements and Services Index—we fail to find a systematic correlation of any sign. We then turn to regression analysis using OLS and instrumental variable techniques and again fail to find evidence in favor of the existence of a correlation. The numerical magnitudes of the correlations suggest a quantitatively small relationship which in several cases is positive rather than negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Cummins & Francisco Rodriguez, 2009. "Is There a Numbers vs. Rights Trade-off in Immigration Policy? What the Data Say," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-21, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-21
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration rights and entitlements; measurement; migration data;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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