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Sale of Visas: A Smuggler’s Final Song?

  • Emmanuelle Auriol


    (Toulouse School of Economics (ARQADE and IDEI) and CEPR)

  • Alice Mesnard

    (City University, Institute for Fiscal Studies and CEPR)

Is there a way of eliminating human smuggling? We set up a model to simultaneously determine the provision of human smuggling services and the demand from would-be migrants. A visa-selling policy may be successful at eliminating human smugglers by eroding their profits but it necessarily increases immigration. In contrast, re-enforced repression decreases migration but uses the help of cartelized smugglers. To overcome this trade-off we study how legalisation and repression can be combined to eliminate human smuggling while controlling migration flows. This policy mix also has the advantage that the funds raised by visa sales can be used to finance additional investments in border and internal controls (employer sanctions and deportations). Simulations of the policy implications highlight the complementarities between repression and legalisation and call into question the current policies.

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Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2012007.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012007
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