Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain and the UK


  •  Corresponding author: Craig McIntosh, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0519, USA. Email:

  • We thank Gordon Dahl, Paul Menchik, Caglar Ozden, Dean Yang and seminar participants at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, the World Bank, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, USC, University College London, and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona for helpful comments.


We use census data for the US, Canada, Spain and UK to estimate bilateral migration rates to these countries from 25 Latin American and Caribbean nations over the period 1980 to 2005. Latin American migration to the US is responsive to labour supply and demand shocks as well as natural disasters. Latin American migration to Canada, Spain and the UK, in contrast, is largely insensitive to these shocks, responding only to civil and military conflict. The results are consistent with US immigration being mediated by market forces and immigration to the other countries being insulated from labour market shocks.