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Free vs. Controlled Migration: Bilateral Country Study

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  • Assaf Razin
  • Jackline Wahba

Abstract

This paper tests the differential effects of the generosity of the welfare state under free migration and under policy-controlled migration, distinguishing between source developing and developed countries. We utilize free-movement within the EU to examine the free migration regime and compare that to immigration into the EU from two other groups, developed and developing source countries, to capture immigration-restricted regimes. We standardize cross-country education quality differences by using the Hanushek-Woessmann (2009) cognitive skills measure. We find strong support for the "Magnet Hypothesis" under the free-migration regime, and the "Fiscal Burden Hypothesis" under the immigration- restricted regime even after controlling for differences in returns to skills in source and host countries. We also find a significant differences across host-country policy regimes in the effects of returns to skills on the skill mix of immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2011. "Free vs. Controlled Migration: Bilateral Country Study," NBER Working Papers 16831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16831
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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