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A Dual Policy Paradox: Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labor-Scarce Economies

  • Timothy J. Hatton
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

Today's labor-scarce economies have open trade and closed immigration policies, while a century ago they had just the opposite, open immigration and closed trade policies. Why the inverse policy correlation, and why has it persisted for almost two centuries? This paper seeks answers to this dual policy paradox by exploring the fundamentals which have influenced the evolution of policy: the decline in the costs of migration and its impact on immigrant selectivity, a secular switch in the net fiscal impact of trade relative to immigration, and changes in the median voter. The paper also offers explanations for the between-country variance in voter anti-trade and anti-migration attitude, and links this to the fundamentals pushing policy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11866.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11866.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Publication status: published as Hatton, T., K. O’Rourke and A. Taylor (eds.). THE NEW COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC HISTORY. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11866
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  1. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
  2. Hatton, Timothy J., 2003. "Explaining Trends in UK Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 4019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Global Migration and the World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582775, June.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0839, Econometric Society.
  6. Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
  7. Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2003. "Heckscher-Ohlin Theory and Individual Attitudes Towards Globalization," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp07, IIIS.
  8. Wellisch, Dietmar & Walz, Uwe, 1998. "Why do rich countries prefer free trade over free migration? The role of the modern welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1595-1612, September.
  9. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
  10. Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2004. "Is Immigration Good or Bad for the Economy? Analysis of Attitudinal Responses," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0406, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. Hilary Hoynes & Marianne Page & Ann Stevens, 2005. "Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 11681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  13. John H. Coatsworth & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "The Roots of Latin American Protectionism: Looking Before the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 8999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  15. Timothy J. Hatton, 2000. "How much did immigrant "quality" decline in late nineteenth century America?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 509-525.
  16. Kevin O'Rourke, 2007. "Democracy and Protectionism," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp191, IIIS.
  17. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519.
  19. Boeri, Tito & Hanson, Gordon H. & McCormick, Barry (ed.), 2002. "Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199256310.
  20. repec:rus:hseeco:121615 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  22. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 6-16, July.
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