Friday, April 08, 2011

Immigration Studies

What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call

Giovanni Facchini & Max Friedrich Steinhardt
Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming

Abstract: Immigration is one of the most hotly debated policy issues in the United States today. Despite marked divergence of opinions within political parties, several important immigration reforms were introduced in the post 1965 era. The purpose of this paper is to systematically analyze the drivers of congressional voting behavior on immigration policy during the period 1970-2006, and in particular, to assess the role of economic factors at the district level. Our findings provide robust evidence that representatives of more skilled labor abundant constituencies are more likely to support an open immigration policy concerning unskilled labor. Thus, a simple factor-proportions-analysis model provides useful insights regarding the policy making process on one of the most controversial facets of globalization.


Migration from Mexico to the United States: Wage Benefits of Crossing the
Border and Going to the U.S. Interior

Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Christian Rivera-Mendoza
Politics & Policy, February 2011, Pages 119-140

Abstract: Emigrating from Mexico to the United States requires three steps: going to the border, crossing it, and going to the final U.S. destination. This article attempts to measure the earnings benefits of each migration step, focusing particularly on the second step: crossing the border. Using U.S and Mexican microdata of workers living in Mexico and in the United States, this article compares wages of identical individuals on both sides of the border after controlling for unobserved differences between migrants and nonmigrants. On average, Mexican workers increase their wages 1.22 times by moving to the Mexican side of the border, 4.15 times by crossing it, and 1.12 times by moving to an interior location in the United States. Gains are larger for unskilled workers. Also, gains for crossing the border are larger for illegal workers, while gains for going to the U.S. interior are larger for legal workers.


The typification of Hispanics as criminals and support for punitive crime
control policies

Kelly Welch et al.
Social Science Research, May 2011, Pages 822-840

Abstract: The Hispanic population is now the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States, so it is not surprising that ethnic threat linked to Hispanics has been associated with harsher crime control. While minority threat research has found that individuals who associate blacks with crime are more likely to support harsh criminal policies, the possibility that this relationship exists for those who typify Hispanics as criminal has yet to be examined. Using a national random sample, this study is the first to use HLM to find that perceptions of Hispanics as criminals do increase support for punitive crime control measures, controlling for various individual and state influences. Moderated and contextual analyses indicate this relationship is most applicable for individuals who are less apt to typify criminals as black, less prejudiced, less fearful of victimization, politically liberal or moderate, not parents, and living in states with relatively fewer Latin American immigrants.

(nod to Kevin Lewis)

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