Can Guest Worker Schemes Reduce Illegal Migration?

41 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Aaditya Mattoo

Aaditya Mattoo

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: February 1, 2006

Abstract

The authors analyze recent efforts at international cooperation to limit illegal migration, particularly through the use of legal migration avenues like guest worker schemes. They show that while guest worker schemes may be desirable as an avenue of international migration, they are an inefficient instrument to induce cooperation on illegal migration. On the one hand, guest worker schemes suffer from a negative selection problem relative to illegal migration, which tends to erode their attractiveness to source countries. On the other hand, guest worker schemes increase total (legal and illegal) migration which make them a costly compensating device for the host country. Moreover, guest worker schemes create additional pressure on host countries to implement tough laws against illegal immigration even when the host finds such laws undesirable. Thus, less favorable treatment of illegal immigrants, as in California Proposition 187, may be an inevitable rather than incidental outcome of reliance on guest worker schemes. In contrast, countries that are willing to use transfers and other forms of economic assistance to induce source countries to cooperate can afford relatively liberal treatment of illegal immigrants.

Keywords: Gender and Social Development, Voluntary and Involuntary Resettlement, Anthropology, Human Migrations & Resettlements, Gender and Development

Suggested Citation

Mattoo, Aaditya, Can Guest Worker Schemes Reduce Illegal Migration? (February 1, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3828. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=922954

Aaditya Mattoo (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Room MC 3-327
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8047 (Phone)
202-676-9810 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/amattoo

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
122
Abstract Views
660
rank
246,871
PlumX Metrics