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Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence

Author

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  • Harry P. Bowen

    (McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte)

  • Jennifer Pedussel Wu

    (Berlin School of Economics)

Abstract

Studies routinely document that the nature of immigrant employment is largely specific: it often concentrates in non-traded goods sectors and many immigrants often have low inter-sectoral mobility. We consider these observed characteristics of immigrant employment for the question of how immigration affects a nation’s pattern of production and trade. We model an economy producing three goods; one is non-traded. Domestic labor and capital are domestically mobile but internationally immobile. Any new wave of immigration is assumed to comprise some workers who become specific to the non-traded goods sector. The model indicates that the output and trade effects of immigration depend importantly on the sectoral pattern of employment by existing and new immigrants. Empirical investigation of the model’s prediction for the relationship between immigration and trade flows in a panel dataset of OECD countries supports the prediction that trade and immigration are complements. The implications of the model and empirical findings for immigration policy are then discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pedussel Wu, 2011. "Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Paper Series 2011-01, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte, revised 13 Jul 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:msb:wpaper:2011-01
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    Cited by:

    1. Murat Genc & Masood Gheasi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2012. "The impact of immigration on international trade: a meta-analysis," Chapters, in: Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot & Mediha Sahin (ed.), Migration Impact Assessment, chapter 9, pages 301-337, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Warmdt, Luca & Užik, Martin & Löcher, Markus, 2018. "Financial signaling with open market share repurchases and private redemptions," Working Papers 93, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).
    3. Fariastuti Djafar & Mohd Khairul Hisyam Hassan, 2013. "Does Trade With Labour Sending Countries Reduce Demand for Migrant Workers: A Lesson from Malaysia," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 3(10), pages 1325-1336, October.
    4. Manish Pandey & Amrita Ray Chaudhuri, 2015. "Immigration, Endogenous Technology Adoption and Wages," Departmental Working Papers 2015-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
    5. Selim Çagatay & Murat Genç & Onur Koska, 2013. "The Impact of Immigration on International Trade in Europe: The Case of the EU-Mediterranean-Eastern Europe Zone," ERSA conference papers ersa13p376, European Regional Science Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; international factor mobility; specific factor; trade; non-traded goods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D5 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • 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
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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