Migration, Trade and Income

42 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2013

See all articles by Francesc Ortega

Francesc Ortega

City University of New York, CUNY Queens College - Department of Economics ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between openness to trade, immigration, and income per person across countries. To address endogeneity concerns we extend the instrumental-variables strategy introduced by Frankel and Romer (1999). We build predictors of openness to immigration and to trade for each country by using information on bilateral geographical and cultural distance (while controlling for country size). Since geography may affect income through other channels, we also control for climate, disease environment, natural resources, and colonial origins. Most importantly, we also account for the roles of institutions and early development. Our instrumental-variables estimates provide evidence of a robust, positive effect of openness to immigration on long-run income per capita. In contrast, we are unable to establish an effect of trade openness on income. We also show that the effect of migration operates through an increase in total factor productivity, which appears to reflect increased diversity in productive skills and, to some extent, a higher rate of innovation.

Keywords: international migration, trade, income per person, productivity, geography, institutions, diversity

JEL Classification: F22, E25, J61

Suggested Citation

Ortega, Francesc and Peri, Giovanni, Migration, Trade and Income. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7325. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2250323

Francesc Ortega (Contact Author)

City University of New York, CUNY Queens College - Department of Economics ( email )

65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367-1597
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Giovanni Peri

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-3033 (Phone)
530-752-9382 (Fax)

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