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Sale of Visas: a Smuggler's Final Song?

Auriol, E. & Mesnard, A. (2016). Sale of Visas: a Smuggler's Final Song?. Economica, 83(332), pp. 646-678. doi: 10.1111/ecca.12204


Is there a way of eliminating human smuggling? We set up a model to simultaneously determine the provision of human smuggling services and the demand from would-be migrants. A visa-selling policy may be successful in eliminating smugglers by eroding their profits, but it also increases immigration. In contrast, repression decreases migration but fuels cartelized smugglers. To overcome this trade-off we show that legalization through selling visas in combination with repression can be used to weaken human smuggling while controlling migration flows. Our results highlight the complementarities between repression and selling visas, and call into question current policies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Auriol, E. and Mesnard, A. (2016), Sale of Visas: a Smuggler's Final Song?. Economica, 83: 646–678., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Publisher Keywords: migration, human smuggling, market structure, legalisation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
Text - Accepted Version
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