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Is There a Numbers vs. Rights Trade-off in Immigration Policy? What the Data Say

Matthew Cummins and Francisco Rodríguez ()

No HDRP-2009-21, Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) from Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Abstract: This paper explores the empirical support behind the idea that there is a trade-off between the size of the migrant population and the rights and entitlements enjoyed by immigrants. We first look at the empirical correlation between measures of migrants’ rights and the size of the stock of immigrants in a number of existing databases. Using data on migrants’ rights from three recent studies—the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Migrant Accessibility Index, the Migration Policy Group and British Council’s Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) and the Human Development Report Office’s Migrant Entitlements and Services Index—we fail to find a systematic correlation of any sign. We then turn to regression analysis using OLS and instrumental variable techniques and again fail to find evidence in favor of the existence of a correlation. The numerical magnitudes of the correlations suggest a quantitatively small relationship which in several cases is positive rather than negative.

Keywords: migration rights and entitlements; measurement; migration data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O15 Z1 I3 I32 F22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 29 pages
Date: 2009-04, Revised 2009-04
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Published as background research for the 2009 Human Development Report.

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