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The Rhetoric of Closed Borders: Quotas, Lax Enforcement and Illegal Migration

Giovanni Facchini () and Cecilia Testa

No 8457, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper studies why illegal immigration is widespread. We develop a political agency model in which a politician decides on an immigration target and its enforcement, facing uncertainty on the supply of migrants. Illegal immigration can arise for two reasons: the policy maker may be unable to enforce the target because supply is higher than expected; alternatively, he may underinvest in enforcement because of electoral concerns, and this occurs only when the incumbent and the majority of voters have different preferences over immigration. Empirical evidence provides strong support for our predictions, highlighting how electoral concerns shape illegal immigration flows.

Keywords: illegal immigration; immigration policy; political economy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2014-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-int, nep-mig and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (11) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: The rhetoric of closed borders: Quotas, lax enforcement and illegal immigration (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The rhetoric of closed borders: quotas, lax enforcement and illegal migration (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: The rhetoric of closed borders: quotas, lax enforcement and illegal migration (2010) Downloads
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