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

  • Gordon H. Hanson
  • Craig McIntosh

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16471.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16471.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Publication status: published as Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2012. "Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain and the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 707-726, 06.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16471
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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  2. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2006. "Trade, Gravity and Sudden Stops: On How Commercial Trade Can Increase the Stability of Capital Flows," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6839, Inter-American Development Bank.
  9. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
  10. Dean Yang, 2006. "Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002," NBER Working Papers 12794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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