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Do immigrant outflows lead to native inflows? An empirical analysis of the migratory responses to US state immigration legislation

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Abstract:

I estimate the impact on internal migration for 52 different demographic groups of the recent influx of state omnibus immigration laws targeting undocumented immigrants in the United States. I find evidence that while the demographic groups pinpointed as having higher percentages of undocumented immigrants certainly experience population and employment ‘outflows’ from states implementing these immigration laws, there is a lack of associated ‘inflows’ for those demographic groups identified by economic theory as being probable substitutes for undocumented immigrants. Several segments designated as probable substitutes actually experience an adverse effect on population and employment. This finding provides rigorous empirical backing to existing anecdotal evidence of the same cross-state migratory phenomenon, resulting in clear policy implications in relation to the ongoing debate over immigration.

Keywords: J61; J68; immigrant outflows; immigration policy; internal migration; labour mobility

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2013.786802

Affiliations: Department of Economics, Florida International University, Miami, FL, 33199, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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