Do Interest Groups Affect Us Immigration Policy?

62 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2008

See all articles by Giovanni Facchini

Giovanni Facchini

Tinbergen Institute

Anna Maria Mayda

Georgetown University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration policy, there is no systematic empirical analysis of this issue. In this paper, we construct an industry-level dataset for the United States, by combining information on the number of temporary work visas with data on lobbying activity associated with immigration. We find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business interest groups incur larger lobby expenditures and higher in sectors where labour unions are more important.

Keywords: Immigration, Immigration Policy, Interest Groups, Political Economy

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Facchini, Giovanni and Mayda, Anna Maria and Mishra, Prachi, Do Interest Groups Affect Us Immigration Policy? (July 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6898. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1240208

Giovanni Facchini (Contact Author)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://paople.few.eur.nl/facchini

Anna Maria Mayda

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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