How Mass Immigration Affects Countries with Weak Economic Institutions: A Natural Experiment in Jordan

25 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2019

See all articles by Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Andrew Forrester

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

Cole Blondin

Middlebury College

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 11, 2019

Abstract

To what extent does immigration affect the economic institutions in destination countries? While there is much evidence that economic institutions in developed nations are either unaffected or improved after immigration, there is little evidence of how immigration affects the economic institutions of developing countries that typically have weaker institutions. Using the Synthetic Control Method, this study estimates a significant and long-lasting positive effect on Jordanian economic institutions from the surge of refugees from the First Gulf War. The surge of refugees to Jordan in 1990?1991 was massive and equal to 10 percent of Jordan's population in 1990. Importantly, these refugees were able to have a large and direct impact on Jordanian economic institutions because they could work, live, and vote immediately upon entry due to a quirk in Jordanian law. The refugee surge was the main mechanism by which Jordan's economic institutions improved in the decades that followed.

Keywords: International Migration, Migration and Development, Human Migrations & Resettlements, Armed Conflict, International Trade and Trade Rules, Youth and Governance, National Governance, Social Analysis, Quality of Life & Leisure, Government Policies, Public Sector Administrative and Civil Service Reform, Democratic Government, Public Sector Administrative & Civil Service Reform, State Owned Enterprise Reform, Energy Privatization, De Facto Governments, Privatization, Economics and Finance of Public Institution Development

Suggested Citation

Nowrasteh, Alex and Forrester, Andrew and Blondin, Cole, How Mass Immigration Affects Countries with Weak Economic Institutions: A Natural Experiment in Jordan (April 11, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8817. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3370648

Alex Nowrasteh (Contact Author)

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

Andrew Forrester

Cato Institute - Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

Cole Blondin

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

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