Research

Some Economic Determinants of Third World Professional Immigration to the United States: 1972-1987

We estimate reduced form equations for immigration to the United States by engineers, natural and social scientists, and physicians from 18 Third World countries. Explanatory variables include income, real GDP growth, graduation in the United States, and study in each country of origin. Additional explanatory variables are foreign student enrollment in the United States, lagged immigration, total immigration from each country, and a dummy variable which accounts for implementation of restrictions on permanent visas in 1972-1973. Results generally conform to expectations, but differ across occupations and with model specification. Most income statistics are unexpected, however, and the strong correlation of US income with graduation in the United States suggests that there is a simultaneity problem in models which include income. Because immigration appears to respond to labor shortages in the United States and surpluses in countries of origin, our results suggest that US immigration quotas have not prevented Third World professionals from responding to economic incentives.

Publication Information
Article Title: Some Economic Determinants of Third World Professional Immigration to the United States: 1972-1987
Journal: World Development (Oct, 1990)
Author(s): MacPhee, Craig R;  Hassan, M.K.
Researcher Information
    
MacPhee, Craig R
MacPhee, Craig R
Emeritus
Expertise:
  • Emerging Markets and Transition Economies
  • Import Tariffs and Tax Policies
  • International Trade & Finance
Economics
CBA 353
P.O. Box 880489
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0489, USA
Phone: (402) 472-2319
Fax: (402) 472-9700
cmacphee1@unl.edu