NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK

Gordon H. Hanson, Craig McIntosh

NBER Working Paper No. 16471
Issued in October 2010
NBER Program(s):   ITI

We use census data for the US, Canada, Spain, and UK to estimate bilateral migration rates to these countries from 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations over the period 1980 to 2005. Latin American migration to the US is responsive to labor supply shocks, as predicted by earlier changes in birth cohort sizes, and labor demand shocks associated with balance of payments crises and natural disasters. Latin American migration to Canada, Spain, and the UK, in contrast, is largely insensitive to these shocks, responding only to civil and military conflict. The results are consistent with US immigration policy toward Latin America (which is relatively permissive toward illegal entry) being mediated by market forces and immigration policy in the other countries (which favor skilled workers and asylum seekers, among other groups) insulating them from labor market shocks in the region.

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This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16471

Published: Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2012. "Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain and the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 707-726, 06. citation courtesy of

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