Do Interest Groups Affect U.S. Immigration Policy?

58 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008

See all articles by Giovanni Facchini

Giovanni Facchini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

Anna Maria Mayda

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

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department

Date Written: October 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 labor unions are more important.

Keywords: Immigration, United States, Industrial sector, Political economy, Migration, Labor unions

Suggested Citation

Facchini, Giovanni and Mayda, Anna Maria and Mishra, Prachi, Do Interest Groups Affect U.S. Immigration Policy? (October 2008). IMF Working Papers, Vol. , pp. 1-56, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316712

Giovanni Facchini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

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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