Migration and International Trade

Migration and International Trade

The US Experience Since 1945

Roger White

This unique book synthesizes and extends the immigrant–trade literature and provides comprehensive coverage of this timely and important topic. In that vein, the author contributes to the understanding of the relationship between immigration and trade and sheds light on a noteworthy aspect of globalization that both confronts policymakers with challenges and offers the potential to overcome them.

Chapter 12: Summing-up: Concluding Thoughts and (Yet) Unanswered Questions

Roger White

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, international economics, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


In this work, we have examined the US immigrant–trade link in considerable detail and have verified a positive influence of immigrants on US exports to and imports from their home countries. Immigrants exert protrade influences when trade between the US and their home countries is already occurring and also raise the likelihood that trade will occur when no trade is taking place. The former effect can be thought of as a tradeintensification effect while the latter may be described as a trade-initiation effect. Estimates of the proportional influence of immigrants on trade that were obtained when considering variation in the relationship across different measures of trade flows, home country cohorts, product types, and immigrants’ attributes are consistent with expectations based on the channels by which immigrants are thought to influence trade. Taken collectively, the information presented here provides for a deeper understanding of the US immigrant–trade relationship and offers insights that may prove useful for public policy formulation. Although the introductory chapter discusses the broad topic of globalization and the often contentious related public debate, subsequent chapters focus on the narrower topic of the US immigrant–trade link. These chapters provide a general overview of the relationship and discuss factors that are thought to affect the operability of the US immigrant–trade link and, hence, that contribute to the presence and magnitudes of pro-trade influences. A quantitative analysis of the link provides results that are evaluated with the corresponding implications for public policy in mind. This, in turn,...

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