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International Labor Mobility and the Variety of Democratic Political Institutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2016

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Abstract

Using a new measure of immigration policy and examining thirty-six advanced industrial countries between 1996 and 2012, we seek to explain systematically the variation in external labor openness among the more advanced democracies as primary destination countries, using a model where the government feels political pressure through both a voter/electoral channel and a special-interests channel. With voters primarily pressing for immigration restrictions and special interest pressure aimed at immigration openness, democratic political institutions—like a parliamentary system and proportional representation voting with greater district magnitude that make governments more responsive to voters and less responsive to special interests—should be associated with less change toward a more open official immigration policy. Our statistical evidence accords with this expectation.

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Research Article
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Copyright © The IO Foundation 2016 

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