International Migration and Economic Integration
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International Migration and Economic Integration

Understanding the Immigrant–Trade Link

Roger White and Bedassa Tadesse

This essential volume examines the influence of immigrants on the process of international economic integration – specifically, their influences on bilateral and multilateral trade flows. It extends beyond the identification and explanation of the immigrant–trade link and offers a more expansive treatment of the subject matter, making it the most comprehensive volume of its kind. The authors present abundant evidence that confirms the positive influences of immigrants on trade between their home and host countries; however the immigrant–trade link may not be universal. The operability of the link is found to depend on a variety of factors related to immigrants’ home countries, their host countries, the types of goods and services being traded and the anthropogenic characteristics of the immigrants themselves.
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Chapter 1: Migration, Trade and Globalization

Roger White and Bedassa Tadesse


Globalization may be considered a single broad amorphous topic or, perhaps, as a metaphorical umbrella under which there exist a series of related topics, each of which is quite expansive. A working definition of globalization might be that it is a process that involves the increased interconnectedness of economics, governance and the inter-linkages of the social and/or environmental aspects of human life. Extending from this definition, we can say that the process of globalization involves an increased interconnectedness of people and societies in different countries and the corresponding interdependencies in terms of three inter-related dimensions: economic, socio-cultural and political. The extent to which these processes are important and are often characterized by extremely imperfect information is striking. The cross-border movement of goods and services, the international flow of capital, and the migration of people have been the subject of much discussion in both policy making circles and in the empirical economics literature. A large number of studies, for example, show that increased international capital flows in the forms of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other equity-sharing arrangements have enhanced the global reach of a seemingly ever-increasing number of multinational organizations. In addition to allowing firms to produce greater varieties of goods and services, these capital flows have also enabled recipient countries to finance development projects and, thus, have contributed to both economic and social development, broadly speaking. As a result, it is not at all uncommon for products to be designed in one country while component parts are produced...

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