Do Interest Groups Affect US Immigration Policy?

60 Pages Posted: 7 May 2009

See all articles by Anna Maria Mayda

Anna Maria Mayda

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

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department

Giovanni Facchini

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

Date Written: June 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 interestgroups incur larger lobby expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.

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

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Mayda, Anna Maria and Mishra, Prachi and Facchini, Giovanni, Do Interest Groups Affect US Immigration Policy? (June 2008). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 256. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1398724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1398724

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

Giovanni Facchini (Contact Author)

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

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

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