Controlling Immigration?

32 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017 Last revised: 23 Aug 2017

See all articles by Marc Helbling

Marc Helbling

University of Bamberg

David A. Leblang

University of Virginia; University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences; University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics; University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Date Written: August 17, 2017

Abstract

The effects of immigration policies on immigration rates have hardly been investigated so far as we lacked the necessary data. For the first time two new datasets are combined in this paper to systematically measure immigration policies and dyadic migration flows for 32 destination countries from over 170 countries of origin over the period 1982-2010. We find that immigration policies have an important effect on immigration rates. The effect however also depends on other factors in attracting or deterring immigrants. We show that the deterrence effect of restrictive immigration policies increases when unemployment rates are high. We argue that in these circumstances states start to care more to effectively protect their national economy. Moreover, we show that policies are more effective for migrant groups from former colonies or when the stock of this group is already high in a destination country. We argue that in these circumstances information on border regulations are more easily disseminated, which in turn makes them more effective.

Keywords: Immigration policies, international migration

JEL Classification: F22, J68, P16

Suggested Citation

Helbling, Marc and Leblang, David A., Controlling Immigration? (August 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3021283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3021283

Marc Helbling (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
Bamberg, 96045
Germany

David A. Leblang

University of Virginia ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - College of Arts and Sciences ( email )

VA
United States

University of Virginia - Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States

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