What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA

33 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016

See all articles by Alessandra Casarico

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Giovanni Facchini

Tinbergen Institute

Tommaso Frattini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics

Abstract

We develop a model to understand the trade-offs faced by an elected representative in supporting an amnesty when a restrictive immigration policy is in place. We show that an amnesty is more desirable the more restricted are the occupational opportunities of undocumented immigrants and the less redistributive is the welfare state. Empirical evidence based on the voting behavior of U.S. Congressmen on the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provides strong support for the predictions of our theoretical model.

Keywords: migration policy, amnesties, democracy, roll call votes

JEL Classification: F22, O51

Suggested Citation

Casarico, Alessandra and Facchini, Giovanni and Frattini, Tommaso, What Drives the Legalization of Immigrants? Evidence from IRCA. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9666. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2724987

Alessandra Casarico (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Giovanni Facchini

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://paople.few.eur.nl/facchini

Tommaso Frattini

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

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

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