Asylum migration to the developed world: Persecution, incentives, and policy

Timothy J. Hatton*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    The European migration crisis of 2015-2016 and the migrants from Central America gathering on the US border since 2017 have created headlines and presented challenges for Western governments. In this paper, I examine the trends in, and determinants of, the number of asylum seekers applying for refugee status in the developed world. This must be understood against the background of an international policy regime that evolved in response to refugee crises and geo-political imperatives. While policy has drawn a sharp distinction between refugees and other immigrants, that difference has become increasingly blurred among asylum migrants. In this light, I examine the interplay between migration pressures, public opinion, and asylum policies in recent decades.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-93
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Economic Perspectives
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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