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Vanishing Third World Emigrants?

  • Timothy J. Hatton
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

This paper documents a stylized fact not well appreciated in the literature. The Third World has been undergoing an emigration life cycle since the 1960s, and, except for Africa, emigration rates have been level or even declining since a peak in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The current economic crisis will serve only to accelerate those trends. The paper estimates the economic and demographic fundamentals driving these Third World emigration life cycles to the United States since 1970 -- the income gap between the US and the sending country, the education gap between the US and the sending country, the poverty trap, the size of the cohort at risk, and migrant stock dynamics. It then projects the life cycle up to 2024. The projections imply that pressure on Third World emigration over the next two decades will not increase. It also suggests that future US immigrants will be more African and less Hispanic than in the past.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14785.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14785.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14785
Note: DAE
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  1. Easterlin, Richard A., 1981. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 1-17, March.
  2. Jane Sneddon Little & Robert K. Triest, 2001. "Seismic shifts: the economic impact of demographic change: an overview," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  3. Hatton, T.J. & Williamson, J.G., 1992. "What Drove the Mass Migrations from Europe in the Late Ninteenth Century," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1614, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  5. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Demographic shocks and global factor flows," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46.
  6. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
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