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Border Walls

Author

Listed:
  • Treb Allen
  • Cauê de Castro Dobbin
  • Melanie Morten

Abstract

What are the economic impacts of a border wall between the United States and Mexico? We use detailed data on bilateral ows of primarily unauthorized Mexican workers to the United States to estimate how a substantial expansion of the border wall between the United States and Mexico from 2007 to 2010 affected migration. We use these effects to estimate a general equilibrium spatial model featuring multiple labor types and quantify the economic impact of the wall expansion. At a construction cost of approximately $7 per person in the United States, we estimate that the border wall expansion harmed Mexican workers and high-skill U.S. workers, but benefited U.S. low-skill workers, who on average achieved welfare gains equivalent to an increase in per capita income of $0.28 per year.

Suggested Citation

  • Treb Allen & Cauê de Castro Dobbin & Melanie Morten, 2018. "Border Walls," NBER Working Papers 25267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Samuel Bazzi & Sarah Burns & Gordon Hanson & Bryan Roberts & John Whitley, 2019. "Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-329, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    2. Samuel Bazzi & Sarah Burns & Gordon Hanson & Bryan Roberts & John Whitley, 2018. "Deterring Illegal Entry: Migrant Sanctions and Recidivism in Border Apprehensions," NBER Working Papers 25100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brian K. Kovak & Rebecca Lessem, 2020. "How do U.S. Visa Policies Affect Unauthorized Immigration?," NBER Working Papers 26790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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