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Managing Migration through Conflicting Policies: an Option-theory Perspective

  • Michele Moretto


    (Universit… di Padova)

  • Sergio Vergalli


    (Universit… di Brescia)

We try to determine whether it is better for a government to tighten or relax limits for immigrants in order to control migration inflows. To this end, we use a real option approach to migration choice that assumes that the decision to migrate can be described as an irreversible investment decision. Our results show that promoting uncertainty over migration limit may improve the government's control on migration inflows (quotas). In particular, we show that if the government controls the information related to the immigration stock it may delay the mass entry of immigrants, maintaining the required stock in the long run and controlling the flows in the short run.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0110.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0110
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  1. Bartolini, Leonardo, 1995. "Foreign investment quotas and rent extraction under uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 25-49, February.
  2. Holger Feist, 1998. "Wage-distance regulation in social-welfare programs: An option-theory perspective," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 271-293, October.
  3. Burda,M.C., 1995. "Migration and the Option Value of Waiting," Papers 597, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 1232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Steven R. Grenadier, 2002. "Option Exercise Games: An Application to the Equilibrium Investment Strategies of Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 691-721.
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  7. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," Departmental Working Papers 200216, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Mahmudul Anam & Shin-Hwan Chiang & Lieng Hua, 2008. "Uncertainty and International Migration: An Option Cum Portfolio Model," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 236-250, September.
  9. Sergio Vergalli, 2008. "The Role of Community in Migration Dynamics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(3), pages 547-567, 09.
  10. Dixit, Avinash, 1995. "Irreversible investment with uncertainty and scale economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 327-350.
  11. Gil Epstein & Shmuel Nitzan, 2006. "The struggle over migration policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(4), pages 703-723, October.
  12. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1998. "Expandability, Reversibility, and Optimal Capacity Choice," NBER Working Papers 6373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hill, John K., 1987. "Immigrant decisions concerning duration of stay and migratory frequency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 221-234, February.
  14. John V. Leahy, 1993. "Investment in Competitive Equilibrium: The Optimality of Myopic Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1105-1133.
  15. Sergio Vergalli, 2006. "Entry and Exit Strategies in Migration Dynamics," Working Papers 2006.123, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  16. Michele Moretto, 2007. "Competition and Irreversible Investments under Uncertainty," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0058, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  17. Sergio Vergalli & Michele Moretto, 2005. "Migration Dynamics," Working Papers 2005.108, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  18. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  19. Cesare Dosi & Michele Moretto, 2001. "Is Ecolabelling a Reliable Environmental Policy Measure?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 113-127, January.
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