Simone Bertoli, Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, 28 January 2013

Migration policy is a pressing issue, but our empirical understanding of it is wanting. This column introduces new estimation techniques for identifying the impact of immigration policies. The novelty is to account for third-country effects since migrants have more options than staying home and moving to the hoped-for destination. Looking at bilateral policies in isolation misses this externality. Disregarding such ‘multilateral resistance to migration’ leads to an underestimation of the effect of bilateral migration policies, and thus potentially leading to severe policy mistakes.

Giovanni Facchini, Cecilia Testa, 28 April 2011

Illegal immigration is widespread. In 2008, approximately 12 million immigrants lived unlawfully in the US alone. This column argues that illegal immigration is largely a tale of political failure. It shows that governments find it best to “talk tough but do nothing”. By imposing quotas but not effectively enforcing them they can mislead the public that want a limit on migration while appeasing those who want more migrants.

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