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The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants

  • Ortega, Francesc

    ()

    (Queens College, CUNY)

  • Peri, Giovanni

    ()

    (University of California, Davis)

This paper makes two contributions to the literature on the determinants of international migration flows. First, we compile a new dataset on annual bilateral migration flows covering 15 OECD destination countries and 120 sending countries for the period 1980-2006. We also collect data on time-varying immigration policies that regulate the entry of immigrants for our destination countries over this period. Second, we extend the empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations developed by Grogger and Hanson (2011) by allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. Our estimates show that international migration flows are highly responsive to income per capita at destination. This elasticity is twice as high for within-EU migration, reflecting the higher degree of labor mobility within the European Union. We also find that tightening of laws regulating immigrant entry reduce rapidly and significantly their flow.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6655.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'The effect of income and immigration policies on international migration' in: Migration Studies, 2013, 1 (1), 47-74.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6655
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  1. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús & Ortega, Francesc, 2010. "Crossing the Border: Self-Selection, Earnings and Individual Migration Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 4957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gonzalez, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2009. "Immigration and Housing Booms: Evidence from Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 4333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
  4. Giovanni Facchini & Max Steinhardt, 2010. "What drives US Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," Development Working Papers 294, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Ortega Francesc, 2010. "Immigration, Citizenship, and the Size of Government," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, March.
  6. Prachi Mishra & Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2008. "Do Interest Groups Affect U.S. Immigration Policy?," IMF Working Papers 08/244, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2007. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 009, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  8. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  9. McKenzie, David & Theoharides, Caroline & Yang, Dean, 2012. "Distortions in the International Migrant Labor Market: Evidence from Filipino Migration and Wage Responses to Destination Country Economic Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 6498, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
  11. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
  12. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga & Francesc Ortega, 2010. "Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1001, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  14. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  15. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  16. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
  17. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Francesc Ortega, 2014. "A global view of cross-border migration," Economics Working Papers 1414, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  18. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  20. Hatton, Timothy J., 2005. "European Asylum Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1721, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  22. Francesc Ortega & Javier G. Polavieja, 2009. "Labor-market exposure as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration," Working Papers 2009-14, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  23. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 5958, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2008. "International Migration and the Role of Institutions," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 012, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  25. Pilar García Gómez & Guillem López, 2003. "Hypothesis on immigration and welfare," Economics Working Papers 905, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
  26. Barry Chiswick & Timothy J.. Hatton, 2003. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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