Michael Hiscox – The IMPALA Database Project

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Seminar to be held on Thursday, May 31st in ERC 115 at 12:30 pm.

Governments adopt a variety of approaches to regulating immigration, and make adjustments to these policies frequently. But currently there exist no comprehensive, cross-nationally comparable data on immigration laws and policies and how they have changed over time. This is a major problem for ongoing research on the determinants and impacts of immigration policies. The project is aimed at addressing this problem by compiling and analyzing comparable data on immigration laws and policies in 26 major recipient countries from 1960 until the present, with annual updates to follow.  The project is examining major categories of immigration law and policy, covering the acquisition of citizenship, economic migration, family reunification, asylum and refugee protection, students, and policies relating to undocumented migration and border control. It will also collect data on policies relating to the integration of immigrants into the host country, including government programs providing assistance and language training. Regulations are coded for each country annually to generate comparable measures along key dimensions, including indexes of the restrictiveness of each country’s laws and policies relating to acquisition of citizenship, economic migration, treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and border control, and measures of the extent to which regulations favor particular categories of immigrants based upon occupational skills, education, ethnicity, and gender.

Michael J. Hiscox is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the Department of Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment, and co-leader of the Harvard-MIT Private Governance Research Group. His research focuses on international trade, foreign investment, immigration, development, government accountability, and private sector initiatives and standards for addressing social and environmental issues in global supply chains.