The Political Economy of Trade and Migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress

41 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013

See all articles by Paola Conconi

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Giovanni Facchini

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

Max Friedrich Steinhardt

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centro Studi Luca D'Agliano (LdA); Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2012

Abstract

Over the last decades, the United States has become increasingly integrated in the world economy. Very low trade barriers and comparatively liberal migration policies have made these developments possible. What drove US congressmen to support the recent wave of globalization? While much of the literature has emphasized the differences that exist between the political economy of trade and migration, in this paper we find that important similarities should not be overlooked. In particular, our analysis of congressional voting between 1970 and 2006 suggests that economic drivers that work through the labor market play an important role in shaping representatives’ behavior on both types of policies. Representatives from more skilled-labor abundant districts are more likely to support both trade liberalization and a more open stance vis-a-vis unskilled immigration. Still, important systematic differences exist: welfare state considerations and network effects have an impact on the support for immigration liberalization, but not for trade; Democratic lawmakers are systematically more likely to support a more open migration stance than their Republican counterparts, whereas the opposite is true for trade liberalization.

Keywords: Trade Reforms, Immigration Reforms

JEL Classification: F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Conconi, Paola and Facchini, Giovanni and Steinhardt, Max Friedrich and Zanardi, Maurizio, The Political Economy of Trade and Migration: Evidence from the U.S. Congress (November 1, 2012). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 346, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2215589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2215589

Paola Conconi (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
32 2 650 2345 (Phone)
32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Giovanni Facchini

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

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

Max Friedrich Steinhardt

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin, 14195
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Centro Studi Luca D'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, 20122
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/maxfriedrichsteinhardt/

Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) ( email )

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Hamburg, 20148
Germany
0049-40-340576-662 (Phone)
0049-(0)40-340576776 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/maxfriedrichsteinhardt/

Maurizio Zanardi

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/zanardi/

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