Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers

50 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by Michael A. Clemens

Michael A. Clemens

Center for Global Development; IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor

Claudio E. Montenegro

World Bank Group; Universidad de Chile, Economics Department

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Center for Global Development

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Abstract

Large international differences in the price of labor can be sustained by differences between workers, or by natural and policy barriers to worker mobility. We use migrant selection theory and evidence to place lower bounds on the ad valorem equivalent of labor mobility barriers to the United States, with unique nationally-representative microdata on both U.S. immigrant workers and workers in their 42 home countries. The average price equivalent of migration barriers in this setting, for low-skill males, is greater than $13,700 per worker per year. Natural and policy barriers may each create annual global losses of trillions of dollars.

Keywords: migration, growth, impact, GDP, tariff, quota, deadweight, cost, visa, barrier, price, wedge

JEL Classification: F22, J61, J71, O15

Suggested Citation

Clemens, Michael Andrew and Montenegro, Claudio E. and Pritchett, Lant, Bounding the Price Equivalent of Migration Barriers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9789, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2750272

Michael Andrew Clemens (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

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IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/profile?key=4270

Claudio E. Montenegro

World Bank Group ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
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Universidad de Chile, Economics Department

Diagonal Paraguay 257
Torre 26, Of. 1801
Santiago
Chile

Lant Pritchett

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-4562 (Phone)
617-496-2554 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lpritch/

Center for Global Development

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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