The future of immigration

Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey Williamson report:

This paper documents a stylized fact not well appreciated in the
literature. The Third World has been undergoing an emigration life
cycle since the 1960s, and, except for Africa, emigration rates have
been level or even declining since a peak in the late 1980s and the
early 1990s. The current economic crisis will serve only to accelerate
those trends. The paper estimates the economic and demographic
fundamentals driving these Third World emigration life cycles to the
United States since 1970 — the income gap between the US and the
sending country, the education gap between the US and the sending
country, the poverty trap, the size of the cohort at risk, and migrant
stock dynamics. It then projects the life cycle up to 2024. The
projections imply that pressure on Third World emigration over the next
two decades will not increase. It also suggests that future US
immigrants will be more African and less Hispanic than in the past.

A non-gated version is available here.  A more imaginative title for this post would have been "Steve, the good news is…Steve, the bad news is…" but I'm not sure how many MR readers would get the reference.  I am in any case impressed by how much African immigrants have brought to the Washington, D.C. area.  Don't forget to visit Abay Market, currently the best Ethiopian place in my area.  The menu has moved from having three items — raw beef only, plus fatty lamb soup — to some vegetables and cooked items as well.


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