Some immigration opponents claim that immigrants import bad institutions and policies from their country of origin into their new home country. We argue just the opposite—namely, that immigrants are more likely to self‐select into countries with better institutions than those in their home countries. Researchers have examined this issue in both a cross‐country and within‐country context. Their findings have been mixed. Although others have found small or nonexistent impacts of immigrants on state institutions, those papers assume that all immigrants are the same. Our approach is unique in that it divides immigrant populations in a variety of ways.
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Written by: Meg Tuszynski, Texas Policy Fellow and Dean Stansel, Advisory Board Member