NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Francesc Ortega

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Working Papers

March 2014A Global View of Cross-Border Migration
with Julian di Giovanni, Andrei Levchenko: w20002
This paper evaluates the global welfare impact of observed levels of migration using a quantitative multi-sector model of the world economy calibrated to aggregate and firm-level data. Our framework features cross-country labor productivity differences, international trade, remittances, and a heterogeneous workforce. We compare welfare under the observed levels of migration to a no-migration counterfactual. In the long run, natives in countries that received a lot of migration - such as Canada or Australia - are better off due to greater product variety available in consumption and as intermediate inputs. In the short run the impact of migration on average welfare in these countries is close to zero, while the skilled and unskilled natives tend to experience welfare changes of opposite sig...
August 2012The Effect of Income and Immigration Policies on International Migration
with Giovanni Peri: w18322
This paper makes two contributions to the literature on the determinants of international migration flows. First, we compile a new dataset on annual bilateral migration flows covering 15 OECD destination countries and 120 sending countries for the period 1980-2006. We also collect data on time-varying immigration policies that regulate the entry of immigrants in our destination countries over this period. Second, we extend the empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations developed by Grogger and Hanson (2011) by allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. Our estimates show that international migration flows are highly responsive to income per capita at destination. This elasticity is twice as high for within-EU migration, reflect...
June 2012The Effect of Trade and Migration on Income
with Giovanni Peri: w18193
This paper explores the relationship between openness to trade and to immigration on income per person. To address endogeneity concerns we extend the instrumental-variables strategy first used by Frankel and Romer (1999). We show that distance (geographical and cultural) can be used to build a strong predictor of openness to immigration and to trade. Our instrumental-variables estimates establish a robust, positive effect of openness to immigration on long-run income per capita, using demanding econometric specifications that account for trade openness, the role of institutions, and early development. In contrast the positive effect of trade openness on income is not robust to controlling for the direct effects of geography, providing support for the critique by Rodriguez and Rodrik (2001)...
April 2009The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005
with Giovanni Peri: w14833
This paper contains three important contributions to the literature on international migrations. First, it compiles a new dataset on migration flows (and stocks) and on immigration laws for 14 OECD destination countries and 74 sending countries for each year over the period 1980-2005. Second, it extends the empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations, developed by Grogger and Hanson (2008), by allowing for unobserved individual heterogeneity between migrants and non-migrants. We use the model to derive a pseudo-gravity empirical specification of the economic and legal determinants of international migration. Our estimates clearly show that bilateral migration flows are increasing in the income per capita gap between origin and destination. We also find that bilateral f...

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