DP10678 Applications for Asylum in the Developed World: Modelling Asylum Claims by Origin and Destination

Author(s): Timothy J. Hatton, Joe Moloney
Publication Date: June 2015
Keyword(s): asylum policy, asylum seekers, refugees
JEL(s): F22, I38, J15, J61
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10678

This paper outlines trends in asylum applications to industrialized countries, with a particular focus on Australia. Following a survey of existing studies we specify and estimate a model to explain asylum applications in 19 major destination countries from 48 source countries over the period from 1997 to 2012. We find that the political terror scale has a strong positive effect on applications while lack of civil liberties also has a positive effect. Origin country GDP per capita has a negative effect on the number of asylum claims while destination country unemployment rates also have a negative effect. We also explore the effects of asylum policies in destinations countries. Tougher policies relating to access to territory and to the processing of asylum claims have negative deterrent effects, but those relating to welfare conditions do not. The sharp tightening of Australian asylum policy in 2001 and subsequent easing from 2008 had larger than average effects.