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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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18322.pdf
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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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Publication status: published as “The Effect of Income and Immigration Policies on International Migrations” (with Francesc Ortega) Migration Studies, Vol. 1 Issue 1, March 2013, Oxford University Press.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18322
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  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & John Ries, 2008. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Working Papers hal-01066116, HAL.
  5. Bertocchi, Graziella & Strozzi, Chiara, 2006. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 2510, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda & Prachi Mishra, 2009. "Do Interest Groups affect US Immigration Policy?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0904, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga, 2011. "Multilateral resistance to migration," Post-Print halshs-00670886, HAL.
  8. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  9. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," Working Papers 1213, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  10. Adsera, Alicia & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "The Role of Language in Shaping International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. 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.
  12. Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús & Ortega, Francesc, 2010. "Crossing the Border: Self-Selection, Earnings and Individual Migration Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 4957, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2008. "International migration and the role of institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 81-102, October.
  14. Facchini, Giovanni & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2011. "What drives U.S. immigration policy? Evidence from congressional roll call votes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 734-743.
  15. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  16. McKenzie, David & Theoharides, Caroline & Yang, Dean, 2012. "Distortions in the International Migrant Labor Market: Evidence from Filipino Migration and Wage Responses to Destination Country Economic Shocks," IZA Discussion Papers 6498, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Joan Llull, 2016. "Understanding international migration: evidence from a new dataset of bilateral stocks (1960–2000)," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 221-255, June.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  23. Timothy J. Hatton, 2010. "The Cliometrics Of International Migration: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 941-969, December.
  24. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  25. Dolmas, James & Huffman, Gregory W., 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  26. Simone Bertoli & Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga & Francesc Ortega, 2010. "Immigration Policies and the Ecuadorian Exodus," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1001, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  27. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
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