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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. Collins, W-J & O'Rourke, K-H & Williamson, J-G, 1997. "Were Trade and Factor Mobility Substitutes in History?," Papers 97/15, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
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  16. 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.
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