The short-term and long-term deterrence effects of INS border and interior enforcement on undocumented immigration

Alberto Dávila, José A. Pagán, Gökçe Soydemir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyzes the short-term and long-term deterrence effects of INS border and interior enforcement. Utilizing FY1983-FY1997 border and interior apprehensions and patrol hours data from the INS, we estimate a four-variable VAR model and find that Border Patrol enforcement has significant short-term deterrence effects. These effects are short-lived as undocumented migrants seemingly adjust to new information. Moreover, the non-existent long-term effects are apparently the consequence of basic economic fundamentals: our analysis employing microdata from both Mexico and the US suggests that the wage gap between Mexico and the US is sufficiently large to maintain the illegal migratory flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-472
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Immigration
  • Mexico
  • Public policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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