Thursday, June 7, 2012

How does one say it in French

Pretty logically, if these two economists are any indication, cut out the middlemen;

Each year, an estimated 2,000 people drowned on their migrant’s journey from Africa to Europe (The Economist 2005) and many more on other routes.  Not only is crossing borders illegally a dangerous operation but it also entails very high financial costs. For border crossings such as from Mexico to the US, human smugglers can charge up to $4,000, while trans-pacific crossings of Chinese immigrants to the US cost above $35,000 in the mid-90s and have since increased sharply.
With estimated revenues of around $5 billion a year in the US and €4 billion in the EU (Padgett 2003), people smuggling is a lucrative business. 
Emmanuelle Auriol and Alice Mesnard's proposal is for destination countries to sell the right to immigrate to them on the open market. It's just basic economic reasoning;
Our idea is to use the funds raised through the sale of visas to finance reinforced repression. Under this scheme, visas will be sold at the price that pushes smugglers out of business. Moreover, by increasing repression, a government makes increases this price. Indeed the increase in migration that will follow this policy will crucially depend on the risk entailed by the illegal crossing and on the degree of discrimination against illegal versus legal migrants on the labour market. The higher is the risk of illegal migration and the lower its payoffs, the higher will be the equilibrium price of visas that pushes smugglers out of business. This scheme will thus allow the government to legalise migration while controlling the number of immigrants.
Pity they aren't advising M. Hollande.  It might be a way to replace all those new retirees he's just enabled.

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