32 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017 Last revised: 23 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 17, 2017
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: Suggested Citation