Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Immigration Article of the Day: Open Trade, Closed Borders: Immigration Policy in the Era of Globalization by Margaret E. Peters
Open Trade, Closed Borders: Immigration Policy in the Era of Globalization by Margaret E. Peters, Yale University - Department of Political Science September 24, 2013
Abstract: This paper argues that trade and immigration policy cannot be studied as separate policies but instead scholars must take an integrated view of these two foreign economic policies. Trade and immigration policy are substitutes. The choice of trade policy affects immigration policy in labor scarce countries through its effects on firms. Closure to trade increases the average firm level demand for immigration, leading to immigration openness, and free trade decreases the average firm demand, leading to restricted immigration. To test this argument, I develop a new dataset on the immigration policies of 19 states from the late 18th century through the early 21st century. This is one of the few datasets on immigration policy and is the only one to cover the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The data show that indeed, trade policy has the hypothesized effect on immigration; immigration policy cannot be fully understood without examining trade policy. This paper, therefore, suggests that trade and other foreign economic policies should be examined in light of immigration policy and each other as well.