The trade creation effect of immigrants: evidence from the remarkable case of Spain
This paper investigates the immigration-trade link using data on individual exporting transactions and immigrants in Spanish provinces between 1995 and 2008. We quantify the impact of new immigrants on the extensive margin (number of transactions) and intensive margin (average value per transaction) of exports. We find that immigrants significantly increase exports and that the effect is almost entirely due to an increase in the extensive margin. Consistent with the idea that immigrants reduce the fixed cost of exporting, we find stronger effects for differentiated goods and for countries that are culturally distant from Spain.