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On the Pro-Trade Effects of Immigrants

Author

Listed:
  • Bratti, Massimiliano

    (Università degli Studi di Milano)

  • De Benedictis, Luca

    (University of Macerata)

  • Santoni, Gianluca

    (CEPII, Paris)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the causal effect of immigration on trade flows, using Italian panel data covering very small geographical units (NUTS-3). Exploiting the very favorable setup offered by Italy's features – the very high number of countries of origin of immigrants ('super-diversity'), the high heterogeneity of social and economic characteristics of Italian provinces coupled with the absence of cultural (e.g. language) or historical (colonial ties) attractors for immigration –, controlling for a wide set of fixed effects, and dealing with the possible distortions generated by the inappropriate choice of the areal unit, we find a positive association between immigrants' stocks and both export and import flows, in line with the past literature. However, using instrumental variables based on migration enclaves, we show that immigrants have a positive and significant effect on imports only.

Suggested Citation

  • Bratti, Massimiliano & De Benedictis, Luca & Santoni, Gianluca, 2012. "On the Pro-Trade Effects of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 6628, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6628
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    MAUP; business and social networks effects; transplanted-home bias effect; migration; trade; gravity model; super-diversity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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