Labor Immigration Policies in High-Income Countries: Variations across Political Regimes and Varieties of Capitalism

Start Page



This paper analyzes how and why labor immigration policies in high-income countries vary across political regimes (democracies versus autocracies) and types of capitalism (liberal versus coordinated market economies). I investigate these policy variations using a unique data set of the characteristics of 77 labor immigration policies in 33 high-income countries. Compared with policies in democracies, labor immigration programs in autocracies are characterized by greater openness to labor immigration, more restrictions of migrants’ rights, and stronger trade-offs between openness and rights. With regard to variations across types of capitalism, I find that immigration programs in liberal market economies (LMEs) impose fewer limits on the employment conditions of migrants, but they place more restrictions on migrants’ social rights than policies in coordinated market economies. Policy trade-offs between openness and social rights are more likely to occur in LMEs with liberal welfare states than in countries with other types of welfare states.

Full text not available in ChicagoUnbound.