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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. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
  4. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Francesc Ortega, . "A Global View of Cross-Border Migration," Working Papers 627, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Adsera, Alicia & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2012. "The Role of Language in Shaping International Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Simone Bertoli & Jesús Fernández-HuertasMoraga, 2011. "Multilateral Resistance to Migration," Working Papers 2011-04, FEDEA.
  9. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2010. "The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 95-136, 02.
  10. 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".
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Hatton, Timothy J., 2010. "The Cliometrics of International Migration: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 4900, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. 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.
  15. 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(7-8), pages 734-743, August.
  16. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  17. 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.
  18. Joan Llull, 2013. "Understanding International Migration: Evidence from a New Dataset of Bilateral Stocks (1960-2000)," Working Papers 715, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Grogger, Jeffrey & Hanson, Gordon H., 2011. "Income maximization and the selection and sorting of international migrants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 42-57, May.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  25. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  26. 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).
  27. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income," NBER Working Papers 18193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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