- New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Mediha Sahin
Chapter 6: Cultural avoidance and internal migration in the USA: do the source countries matter?
Immigration – and its effects on the host countries – is one of the most hotly debated and everlasting topics in advanced societies. A primary concern of immigration studies is to evaluate how immigration affects the native population and how natives respond to immigrant flows. Recent evidence from the USA (Filer, 1992; Frey, 1995a), Canada (Ley and Tutchener, 2001) and Australia (Sheehan, 1998) shows that large in-flows of migrants in gateway cities are associated with large out-flows of natives but the causes of this response are not entirely clear. Some authors argue that the causes are mainly of an economic nature relating to the labour market. If immigrants and natives are perfect substitutes in the labour market, then the increase in the labour supply, caused by the immigrants’ in-flow, would lead to lower wages, which, in turn, would push natives to out-migrate. Although immigration in the USA has been relatively concentrated in a few states, the displacement of natives, with the related increase in internal migration flows, allows the effects of immigration to spread across the country in a ‘bathtub’ model fashion (Borjas, 2003, 2005; Ali et al., forthcoming). The debate on exactly how ‘substitutable’ immigrants are to natives, however, is still open.
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