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Controlling irregular migration: can a market for Temporary Foreign Work Permits help?

Date: -

Prof. Emmanuelle Auriol, Toulouse School of Economics

"Controlling irregular migration: can a market for Temporary Foreign Work Permits help?" by Emmanuelle Auriol,  Alice Mesnard, and Tiffanie Perrault

We model the supply of human smuggling services and the demand from workers in low-wage countries and study how temporary visa schemes can be designed to drive smugglers out of business while meeting labor market needs in host countries. The policy trade-off between migration control and liberalized borders can be overcome by combining internal and external controls with a regulated market for temporary visas. On this market, visa duration and price are set at 'eviction' levels -i.e. to throttle smugglers' businesses. We use information on irregular migrants from Senegal to Spain and the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa to calibrate eviction prices of visas and subsequent variations in migration flows. Our results highlight important constraints for governments seeking to prevent temporary workers' overstay, especially on South-North routes.%, and discuss the viability of such schemes.