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Migration Flows: Political Economy of Migration and the Empirical Challenges

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke
  • R. Sinnott

Immigration barriers began being erected in the New World in the late 19th century. They were motivated by fears that the immigration of unskilled workers would increase inequality. Controlling for economic factors, there appears to have been little independent role for factorssuch as racism or xenophobia in driving the retreat from liberal migration policies. A statistical analysis of individual voter attitudes towards immigration in the late 20th century leads to somewhat different conclusions: nationalism is strongly associated with more hostile attitudes towards immigrants. Heckscher-Ohlin theory and the Borjas theory of immigrant self-selection also help explain individual voter attitudes.

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Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 20036.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:20036
Contact details of provider: Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
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Web page: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1997. "Globalization and Inequality, Past and Present," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 117-35, August.
  4. 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.
  5. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, June.
  6. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1423-1453, December.
  7. Taylor, Alan M. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1997. "Convergence in the age of mass migration," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 27-63, April.
  8. Collins, William J & O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1997. "Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Barry Chiswick & Timothy J.. Hatton, 2003. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
  11. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, March.
  12. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57, March.
  13. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  14. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1984. "Migration and Asymmetric Information: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 533-34, June.
  15. Scheve, Kenneth F. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "What determines individual trade-policy preferences?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-292, August.
  16. Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," NBER Working Papers 1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  18. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "The Determinants of Individual Attitudes Towards Immigration," Trinity Economics Papers 20042, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  19. Katz, Eliakim & Stark, Oded, 1987. "International Migration under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 718-26, September.
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