Egger, Peter H. Ehrlich, Maximilian von Nelson, Douglas R.
CESifo Working Paper No. 3467
Theoretical and empirical research in economics suggests that bilateral migration triggers bilateral trade through a number of channels. This paper assesses the functional form of the impact of migration on trade flows in a quasi-experimental setting. We provide evidence that the relationship is not log-linear. In particular, at small levels of migration (stocks) the elasticity of trade to migration is quite high, and it declines to zero at about 4,000 immigrants. If migration stocks exceed such a level, the evidence suggests that trade will not increase anymore. This suggests that cross-country network and other effects flowing from migration materialize at relatively low levels of migration, but there appears to be satiation as immigrant numbers increase by much.