Do Interest Groups Affect U.S. Immigration Policy?

Author/Editor: Facchini, Giovanni ; Mayda, Anna Maria ; Mishra, Prachi
Publication Date: October 01, 2008
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate
Summary: While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration policy, there is no systematic empirical analysis of this issue. In this paper, we construct an industry-level dataset for the United States, by combining information on the number of temporary work visas with data on lobbying activity associated with immigration. We find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business interest groups incur larger lobby expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.
Series: Working Paper No. 08/244
Subject(s): Immigration | United States | Industrial sector | Political economy | Migration | Labor unions

Author's Keyword(s): Immigration | Immigration Policy | Interest Groups | Political Economy.
Publication Date: October 01, 2008
Format: Paper
Stock No: WPIEA2008244 Pages: 56
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