NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Trade, Variety, and Immigration

Chen Bo, David S. Jacks

NBER Working Paper No. 17963
Issued in March 2012
NBER Program(s):   DAE   ITI

What are the gains from international trade? And how do immigrants influence this process? While economists have considered these questions before, particularly in the context of aggregate trade flows, there has been no work assessing the relation between immigration and international trade in varieties--that is, the trade of particular goods from particular geographic areas. We consider the case of Canada, document its impressive experience with import variety growth in the period from 1988 to 2007, and relate this variety growth to the process of immigration. We find that import varieties grew 76%, that this growth is associated with a welfare gain to Canadian consumers as large as 28%, and that enhanced immigration flows may be responsible for 25% of this variety growth and its attendant welfare gains for native-born Canadians.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17963

Published: Chen, Bo & Jacks, David S., 2012. "Trade, variety, and immigration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 243-246. citation courtesy of

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