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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. Dustmann, Christian & Preston, Ian, 2000. "Racial and Economic Factors in Attitudes to Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 2542, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Facchini, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants Across Countries," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp143, IIIS.
  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. O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Taylor, Alan M., 2006. "Democracy and Protectionism," CEPR Discussion Papers 5698, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. repec:rus:hseeco:121615 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  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. 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.
  9. Hilary Hoynes & Marianne Page & Ann Stevens, 2005. "Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 11681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 6-16, July.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Tim Hatton, 2004. "Explaining Trends in UK Immigration," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2004-440, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  14. O'Rourke, Kevin H. & Sinnott, Richard, 2006. "The determinants of individual attitudes towards immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 838-861, December.
  15. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  16. 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.
  17. Richard E. Baldwin & Philippe Martin, 1999. "Two Waves of Globalisation: Superficial Similarities, Fundamental Differences," NBER Working Papers 6904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, March.
  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, March.
  20. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  21. 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).
  22. 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.
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