NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Dual Policy Paradox: Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labor-Scarce Economies

Timothy J. Hatton, Jeffrey G. Williamson

NBER Working Paper No. 11866
Issued in December 2005
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ITI   LS

Today's labor-scarce economies have open trade and closed immigration policies, while a century ago they had just the opposite, open immigration and closed trade policies. Why the inverse policy correlation, and why has it persisted for almost two centuries? This paper seeks answers to this dual policy paradox by exploring the fundamentals which have influenced the evolution of policy: the decline in the costs of migration and its impact on immigrant selectivity, a secular switch in the net fiscal impact of trade relative to immigration, and changes in the median voter. The paper also offers explanations for the between-country variance in voter anti-trade and anti-migration attitude, and links this to the fundamentals pushing policy.

download in pdf format
   (229 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (229 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11866

Published: Hatton, T., K. O’Rourke and A. Taylor (eds.). THE NEW COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC HISTORY. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Lu, Scheve, and Slaughter w15700 Envy, Altruism, and the International Distribution of Trade Protection
Hatton and Williamson w9159 What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?
Timmer and Williamson w5867 Racism, Xenophobia or Markets? The Political Economy of Immigration Policy Prior to the Thirties
O'Rourke and Taylor w12250 Democracy and Protectionism
Hanson, Scheve, and Slaughter w11028 Public Finance and Individual Preferences over Globalization Strategies
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us