Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? Us and EU Immigration Pressures in the Long Run

34 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2016 Last revised: 23 Sep 2016

See all articles by Gordon H. Hanson

Gordon H. Hanson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

How will worldwide changes in population affect pressures for international migration in the future? We contrast the past three decades, during which population pressures contributed to substantial labor flows from neighboring countries into the United States and Europe, with the coming three decades, which will see sharp reductions in labor-supply growth in Latin America but not in Africa or much of the Middle East. Using a gravity-style empirical model, we examine the contribution of changes in relative labor-supply to bilateral migration in the 2000s and then apply this model to project future bilateral flows based on long-run UN forecasts of working-age populations in sending and receiving countries. Because the Americas are entering an era of uniformly low population growth, labor flows across the Rio Grande are projected to slow markedly. Europe, in contrast, will face substantial demographically driven migration pressures from across the Mediterranean for decades to come. Although these projected inflows would triple the first-generation immigrant stocks of larger European countries, they would still absorb only a small fraction of the 800-million-person increase in the working-age population of Sub-Saharan Africa that is projected to occur over the coming 40 years.

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Gordon H. and McIntosh, Craig, Is the Mediterranean the New Rio Grande? Us and EU Immigration Pressures in the Long Run (September 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22622. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2837634

Gordon H. Hanson (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

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