Gordon Hanson – Birth Rates and Border Crossings: The Demographic Push Behind Emigration in the Americas

Gordon Hanson – Birth Rates and Border Crossings: The Demographic Push Behind Emigration in the Americas
 

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Gordon Hanson on February 23, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


We intersect data on births from the WDI with U.S Census information on country of origin to estimate cohort-specific migration rates to the U.S. for twenty-one countries in the Americas. Using these data, we confirm the theoretical prediction that labor supply should play a driving role in migration, with individuals born into unusually large cohorts having a higher propensity to migrate. We find this effect to be strongest in nearby countries, with a slope that is decreasing and convex in both distance and in the number of countries crossed to reach the U.S. Labor supply-driven migration also interacts in interesting ways with shocks in the sending countries: natural disasters, sudden stops, and high-variability in income per capita all lead to more out-migration when they occur in large cohorts. Our results suggest a strong role for demographic pressure in generating migration in the Americas. (paper co-authored with Craig McIntosh, UCSD Economics)

Gordon Hanson, Professor, Department of Economics and School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

Hanson is the director of the Center on Pacific Economies and is a professor of economics at UC San Diego, where he holds faculty positions in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the Department of Economics. Hanson is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-editor of theJournal of Development Economics. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior research fellow at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development. Prior to joining UCSD in 2001, he was on the economics faculty at the University of Michigan (1998-2001) and at the University of Texas (1992-1998).

Professor Hanson has published extensively in the top academic journals of the economics discipline. His current research examines the international migration of skilled labor, the economics of illegal immigration, the relationship between business cycles and global outsourcing, and international trade in motion pictures. In recent work, he has studied the impact of trade and immigration on wages, the origins of political opposition to immigration, and the implications of China’s growth for the export performance of Mexico and other developing countries. His most recent book is Skilled Immigration Today: Problems, Prospects, and Policies (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), co-edited with Jagdish Bhagwati.

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