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 13: A Summary of Findings from the Application of the Gravity Model

Roger White and Bedassa Tadesse


We have presented the findings of a series of analyses in which we have evaluated a number of questions that relate to the influence of immigrants on trade between their host and home countries. We began by confirming the pro-trade effects of immigrants that is reported by several other studies. We then considered variation in the immigrant–trade relationship across a number of dimensions (for example, host country immigration policies, the economic development of the immigrants’ home countries, product characteristics, aggregate and disaggregate measures of trade, host and home country cultural dissimilarities and so on). In the later chapters, we explored the basis (that is, the operability and universality) of the immigrant–trade link. Collectively, the findings presented here contribute to an enhanced understanding of the immigrant–trade relationship. We hope that this information proves useful for members of the general public, for policy makers and for those who conduct research into this and related topics. Moreover, as noted at the outset, by enhancing our knowledge of the immigrant–trade link we gain information relating to the broader processes of international economic integration and of globalization. 13.1 THE EFFECTS OF IMMIGRANTS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN GOODS AND SERVICES Examining data for two immigrant host countries, namely Australia and Italy, and a number of home countries we evaluated the following questions: First, do immigrants affect bilateral trade flows between their home and host countries? Second, does the effect of immigrants on trade vary across differentiated and homogenous goods? Third, do differences...

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