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Title: The effects of immigration policy on migration systems
Author: Simon, Miranda Soledad
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 8802
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis examines the unintended effects of immigration policy. It develops a new theoretical framework to examine how aspiring migrants respond to immigration policy restrictions and the role social ties play in this process. It formalises this framework as an agent-based computational model (ABM) embedded with a range of experimental and other empirical designs that purposefully target different challenges in causal identification and measurement. This combination of methods allows us to examine policy scenarios and their counterfactuals and clandestine populations. To help researchers combine empirical instruments with ABM, this thesis develops a general "Proactive Approach to Empirical Embeddedness," which relies on the co-evolution of empirical and ABM designs to generate target- ted data collection strategies. The 'proactive' approach guides the research process of this thesis. The thesis is informed by an original nation-wide survey of Jamaica, a country with rich history of migration, designed with the primary aim of informing the model. Issues of endogeneity in measuring the effects of policy are addressed through the design of an audiovisual experiment, which showed that policy affects individuals' perceived ability but not their desire to move. Theory expects these feelings of 'involuntary immobility' will drive unauthorised migration. Issues of social desirability bias in asking about this sensitive topic are mitigated through the design of a list experiment, which finds support for these expectations. The ABM, with these and other analyses embedded, shows that barriers to family and low- skilled migration produce the most unauthorised migration and that border enforcement is an inefficient solution. In the last chapter, this thesis ex- amines another response to policy: reorientation to alternative countries. Theory expects robust spatial corridors to emerge from path-dependent net- work migration. Using ABM, this chapter shows policy restrictions can break path-dependence under dynamic conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available