Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2034317
 


 



Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law


Michael D. Makowsky


Johns Hopkins University - Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences

Thomas Stratmann


George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

April 4, 2012

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-16

Abstract:     
Immigration control-related audits and their resulting sanctions are not solely determined by impartial enforcement of laws and regulations. They are also determined by the incentives faced by vote-maximizing congressmen, agents acting on their behalf, and workers likely to compete with immigrants in the local labor market. In this paper we test to what extent congressional oversight, i.e., legislative involvement, determines the bureaucratic immigration enforcement process. We examine the determinants of decisions made at each stage of regulatory enforcement for over 40,000 audits from 1990 to 2000. This includes an analysis of the determinants of whether a firm is 1) found in violation, 2) whether a warning or fine issued, 3) the size of the fine issued, and 4) how much of dollar reduction fined employers were able to negotiate after the fact. Consistent with the hypothesis that locals will provide more tips to the enforcement agency when unemployment is high, we find that the number of audits conducted grows with increased local unemployment. We also find that a congressman's party affiliation and its interaction with committee membership, party rank, and party majority status, as well as firm size and local union membership, correlate to bureaucratic decisions made at every stage of immigration enforcement.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

JEL Classification: J61, K31, K42

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: April 5, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Makowsky, Michael D. and Stratmann, Thomas, Politics, Unemployment, and the Enforcement of Immigration Law (April 4, 2012). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-16. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2034317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2034317

Contact Information

Michael D. Makowsky
Johns Hopkins University - Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences ( email )
Davis Building, Suite 3220
5801 Smith Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21209
United States
Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 218
Downloads: 13

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.219 seconds