Understanding the Immigrant–Trade Link
Chapter 4: East–West Migration and Trade: The Pro-Trade Effects of Immigrants in Italy
4 East–West migration and trade: The pro-trade effects of immigrants in Italy The end of the Cold War led to a considerable increase in migration from Eastern Europe to Western Europe. The political changes that followed the Cold War included the removal or weakening of many restrictions that for decades had severely limited East–West migration. As a result, in recent years, many European countries have experienced large increases in the number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and associated satellite countries. Expected enlargement of the European Union (EU) will further reduce migration barriers; thus, it is expected that additional migration will occur. As a result, East–West migration has emerged as an important political and economic issue. However, fears of domestic social service depletion, adverse local labor market effects, reluctance of immigrants to assimilate to the culture of their host countries and, in some instances, even worries over possible terrorist attacks, have generated calls for more restrictive immigration policies. In this chapter, we build on our analysis of Australia’s immigrant– trade link by employing data that represent Italy’s trade with 68 countries during the 1996–2001 period that are categorized as former Soviet republics (FSR), post-communist (PCOM) countries and non-FSR and non-PCOM countries. More specifically, placing particular emphasis on potential variation in immigrants’ pro-trade influences across home countries that are classified as either FSR or PCOM countries, we consider whether the effects of differences/changes in immigration policies affect the abilities of immigrants to influence trade flows across...
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