Does immigration impact institutions?

J. R. Clark, Robert Lawson, Alex Nowrasteh, Benjamin Powell, Ryan Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The economics literature generally finds a positive, but small, gain in income to native-born populations from immigrants and potentially large gains in world incomes. But immigrants can also impact a recipient nation’s institutions. A growing empirical literature supports the importance of strong private property rights, a rule of law, and an environment of economic freedom for promoting long-run prosperity. But little is known about how immigration impacts these institutions. This paper empirically examines how immigration impacts a nation’s policies and institutions. We find no evidence of negative and some evidence of positive impacts in institutional quality as a result of immigration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Economic freedom
  • Immigration
  • Institutions


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