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Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border

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  • Hanson, Gordon H.
  • Spilimbergo, Antonio

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of illegal immigration in the United States from Mexico from 1976 to 1995. The main challenge in the empirical work is that the observations are not the number of individuals that attempt to enter the United States illegally, but rather the number of individuals apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Based on a simple model of the individual migration decision, we postulate the existence of an apprehensions function, which expresses the number of apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border as a function of the number of illegal attempts to cross the border an the level of border-enforcement effort exerted by the U.S. government.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanson, Gordon H. & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2018. "Illegal Immigration, Border Enforcement, and Relative Wages: Evidence from Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico Border," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6207, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:6207
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George J. Borjas, 1992. "National Origin and the Skills of Immigrants in the Postwar Period," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Work Force: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 17-48, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Burda, Michael C, 1995. "Migration and the Option Value of Waiting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    4. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1985. "International Trade and Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 691-707, September.
    5. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    6. Shaw, R Paul, 1986. "Fiscal versus Traditional Market Variables in Canadian Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 648-666, June.
    7. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Kevin Lang, 1991. "Undocumented Mexican-born Workers in the United States: How Many, How Permanent?," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 77-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Oded Stark, 1991. "The Migration of Labor," Blackwell Books, Wiley Blackwell, number 1557860300, September.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    illegal immigration; immigration reform; WP-328; border enforcement; wage measures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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