Defying the Law of Gravity: The Political Economy of International Migration

49 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2009

See all articles by David A. Leblang

David A. Leblang

University of Virginia; University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences; University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics; University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Jennifer Fitzgerald

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science

Jessica Teets

Middlebury College

Date Written: June 17, 2009

Abstract

Bilateral flows of international migrants exhibit tremendous variance both across destination countries and over time. We argue that along with economic and social conditions migrants consider the political environment when choosing among various destinations. Specifically we hypothesize that a country’s citizenship policy regime and the strength of support for radical right parties are key determinants of destination choice. We test our hypotheses using an original data set of bilateral migration flows from 178 countries of origin into 22 destination countries over the period 1962-2006. And we directly confront the challenge that both the citizenship policy regime and radical right party support are endogenous; that they are in part a consequence of international migration. Our findings have implications for the study of international migration and for the broader comparative and international political economy literatures.

Keywords: migration, citizenship policy, gravity model, endogeneity

JEL Classification: F22,

Suggested Citation

Leblang, David A. and Fitzgerald, Jennifer and Teets, Jessica, Defying the Law of Gravity: The Political Economy of International Migration (June 17, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1421326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1421326

David A. Leblang (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

VA
United States

University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

Jennifer Fitzgerald

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Political Science ( email )

333 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0333
United States

Jessica Teets

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

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