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A Theory of Immigration Amnesties

  • Epstein, Gil S.

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Weiss, Avi

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

This paper presents a first attempt at understanding some of the many issues involved in the granting of an amnesty to illegal immigrants. We consider government behavior with respect to allocations on limiting infiltration (border control) and apprehending infiltrators (internal control) and with respect to the granting of amnesties, the timing of amnesties, and limitations on eligibility for those amnesties. We demonstrate the effects of government actions on allocations and the flow of immigrants, and how the interactions between these factors combine to yield an optimal amnesty policy. We also consider various extensions such as intertemporal transfers of policing funds, risk-aversion, and "fuzziness" in declarations regarding eligibility for an amnesty aimed at apprehending and deporting undesirables.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 302.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "The Why, When and How of Immigration Amnesties" in: Journal of Population Economics, 2011, 24 (1), 285-316
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp302
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  1. Rozevitch, Shimon & Weiss, Avi, 1993. " Beneficiaries from Federal Transfers to Municipalities: The Case of Israel," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 335-46, August.
  2. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 1999. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers from Illegal Immigration?," NBER Working Papers 7054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L., 2000. "Social Harmony At The Boundaries Of The Welfare State: Immigrants And Social Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1999. "A theory of permissible illegal immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 585-604, November.
  5. Gordon M. Myers & Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou, 1997. "Immigration Control and the Welfare State," Working Papers 97001, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1997.
  6. Rosenberg, Jacob, 1992. " Rationality and the Political Business Cycle: The Case of Local Government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(1), pages 71-81, January.
  7. Alessandra Venturini, 1999. "Do immigrants working illegally reduce the natives' legal employment? Evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 135-154.
  8. Malik, Arun S. & Schwab, Robert M., 1991. "The economics of tax amnesties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 29-49, October.
  9. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  10. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1998. "Creating Illegal Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 1796, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Slobodan Djajic, 1999. "Dynamics of immigration control," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 45-61.
  12. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  13. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  14. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," NBER Working Papers 4955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  17. Frey, Bruno S & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "An Empirical Study of Politico-Economic Interaction in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 174-83, May.
  18. Andreoni, James, 1991. "The desirability of a permanent tax amnesty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 143-159, July.
  19. Andrea Gavosto & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 1999. "Do Immigrants Compete with Natives?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(3), pages 603-621, 09.
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