Migration and OECD service exports: an institutional perspective

Mardi | 2018-07-03
Salle des thèses 16h – 17h20

Isabelle RABAUD – Thierry BAUDASSE – Thierry MONTALIEU

The relation between trade and migration is the subject of many controversies. Are substitutions or complementarities at stake? This paper aims to analyze the links between exports of services and immigration. Our sample concerns immigration from 191 countries towards 20 OECD countries in 2000, 2005 and 2010. We show that a higher share of individual country immigrants in the population tend to increase bilateral exports of services, showing a complement effect between immigration and trade in services. This effect shows up in particular for immigrants originating from countries with weak quality of regulations and respect of rule of law. Thanks to their deep knowledge of the habits of local markets of their origin countries, immigrants’ skills are complement to natives’ ones. A trade cost channel seems at stake insofar as the presence of immigrants decreases the information gap between partner countries and ease trade relations.