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The Effect of Income and Immigration Policies on International Migration

  • Francesc Ortega
  • Giovanni Peri

This paper makes two contributions to the literature on the determinants of international migration flows. First, we compile a new dataset on annual bilateral migration flows covering 15 OECD destination countries and 120 sending countries for the period 1980-2006. We also collect data on time-varying immigration policies that regulate the entry of immigrants in our destination countries over this period. Second, we extend the empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations developed by Grogger and Hanson (2011) by allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. Our estimates show that international migration flows are highly responsive to income per capita at destination. This elasticity is twice as high for within-EU migration, reflecting the higher degree of labor mobility within the European Union. We also find that tightening of laws regulating immigrant entry reduce rapidly and significantly their flow.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18322.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18322
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  1. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2006. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Development Working Papers 211, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2008. "The Erosion of Colonial Trade Linkages After Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga & Francesc Ortega, 2011. "Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 57-76, March.
  5. Ortega, Francesc & Polavieja, Javier G., 2012. "Labor-market exposure as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 298-311.
  6. Giovanni Facchini & Max Steinhardt, 2010. "What drives US Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes," Development Working Papers 294, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  7. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," Working Papers 1213, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an Application to the Eastern- Western European Integration," Working Papers 2072/42865, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  9. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Prachi Mishra, 2008. "Do Interest Groups Affects US Immigration Policy?," Development Working Papers 256, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  10. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1206, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  11. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Ortega, Francesc, 2012. "A Global View of Cross-Border Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. David McKenzie & Caroline Theoharides & Dean Yang, 2014. "Distortions in the International Migrant Labor Market: Evidence from Filipino Migration and Wage Responses to Destination Country Economic Shocks," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 49-75, April.
  13. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  16. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
  17. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  18. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Income Maximization and the Selection and Sorting of International Migrants," NBER Working Papers 13821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  21. Simone Bertoli & Jesús Fernández-HuertasMoraga, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," Working Papers 2011-04, FEDEA.
  22. Pilar García Gómez & Guillem López, 2003. "Hypothesis on immigration and welfare," Economics Working Papers 905, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
  23. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2004. "On The Political Economy Of Immigration And Income Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1129-1168, November.
  24. Joan Llull, 2013. "Understanding International Migration: Evidence from a New Dataset of Bilateral Stocks (1960-2000)," Working Papers 715, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  25. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2008. "International Migration and the Role of Institutions," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 012, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  26. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Working Papers 96, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  27. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
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