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Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers

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  • Clemens, Michael A.

    (Center for Global Development)

  • Montenegro, Claudio

    (University of Chile)

  • Pritchett, Lant

    (Harvard Kennedy School)

Abstract

Large international differences in the price of labor can be sustained by differences between workers, or by natural and policy barriers to worker mobility. We use migrant selection theory and evidence to place lower bounds on the ad valorem equivalent of labor mobility barriers to the United States, with unique nationally-representative microdata on both U.S. immigrant workers and workers in their 42 home countries. The average price equivalent of migration barriers in this setting, for low-skill males, is greater than $13,700 per worker per year. Natural and policy barriers may each create annual global losses of trillions of dollars.

Suggested Citation

  • Clemens, Michael A. & Montenegro, Claudio & Pritchett, Lant, 2016. "Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers," IZA Discussion Papers 9789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9789
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; growth; impact; GDP; tariff; quota; deadweight; cost; visa; barrier; price; wedge;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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