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Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK

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  • Gordon H. Hanson
  • Craig McIntosh

Abstract

We use census data for the US, Canada, Spain, and UK to estimate bilateral migration rates to these countries from 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations over the period 1980 to 2005. Latin American migration to the US is responsive to labor supply shocks, as predicted by earlier changes in birth cohort sizes, and labor demand shocks associated with balance of payments crises and natural disasters. Latin American migration to Canada, Spain, and the UK, in contrast, is largely insensitive to these shocks, responding only to civil and military conflict. The results are consistent with US immigration policy toward Latin America (which is relatively permissive toward illegal entry) being mediated by market forces and immigration policy in the other countries (which favor skilled workers and asylum seekers, among other groups) insulating them from labor market shocks in the region.

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  • Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK," NBER Working Papers 16471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16471
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    2. Michael A. Clemens, 2014. "Does development reduce migration?," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 6, pages 152-185, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Jonas Gamso & Jikuo Lu & Farhod Yuldashev, 2021. "Does foreign aid volatility increase international migration?," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 581-598, July.
    4. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 79-100.
    5. Parag Mahajan & Dean Yang, 2020. "Taken by Storm: Hurricanes, Migrant Networks, and US Immigration," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 250-277, April.
    6. Bertoli, Simone & Marchetta, Francesca, 2015. "Bringing It All Back Home – Return Migration and Fertility Choices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 27-40.
    7. Brücker, Herbert & Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "The European Crisis and Migration to Germany: Expectations and the Diversion of Migration Flows," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79693, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Marchetta, Francesca, 2012. "Return Migration and the Survival of Entrepreneurial Activities in Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1999-2013.
    9. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 119-177, Elsevier.
    10. Michael Clemens, 2014. "Does Development Reduce Migration? - Working Paper 359," Working Papers 359, Center for Global Development.
    11. Gordon Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2016. "Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? US and EU Immigration Pressures in the Long Run," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 57-82, Fall.
    12. Bertoli, S. & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, J. & Ortega, F., 2013. "Crossing the border: Self-selection, earnings and individual migration decisions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 75-91.
    13. Gröger, André, 2021. "Easy come, easy go? Economic shocks, labor migration and the family left behind," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    14. Anzelika Zaiceva, 2014. "The impact of aging on the scale of migration," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-99, November.
    15. Andrés Villarreal, 2014. "Explaining the Decline in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Effect of the Great Recession," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2203-2228, December.
    16. Simone Bertoli, 2017. "Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? A Comment," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 255-259, July.
    17. Helena Marques & Gabriel Pino & J. D. Tena, 2018. "Voting with your feet: migration flows and happiness," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 163-187, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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