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Effects of enforcement on illegal markets: Evidence from migrant smuggling along the southwestern border

Christina Gathmann ()

Journal of Public Economics, 2008, vol. 92, issue 10-11, 1926-1941

Abstract: The paper analyzes the effects of tighter border control on the illegal crossing market between Mexico and the United States. Combining panel data on illegal migrants with enforcement statistics, the effects of enforcement are found to be moderate: prices of border smugglers ('coyotes') increased by only 17%, while the demand for smugglers has remained unchanged. Enforcement has however shifted illegal migrants to remote crossing places. Border crossing is now more time-intensive with higher prices for coyotes and risk of death. This geographic substitution raised migration costs by $140, more than twice the effect of enforcement on smuggling prices.

Keywords: Enforcement; Illegal; migration; Smuggling; Crime; Mexico (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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Working Paper: The Effects of Enforcement on Illegal Markets: Evidence from Migrant Smuggling along the Southwestern Border (2004) Downloads
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