Oil and Norway’s 1975 Immigration Ban

Dr. Adrian Shin, University of Colorado Boulder

This article explores the link between natural resource wealth and immigration policy formation in Norway. I argue that the emergence of substantial oil wealth in the 1970s led to the 1975 immigration ban in Norway by reducing the size of the pro-immigration business coalition. When labor-intensive firms in the tradable sector perish due to deindustrialization during an oil boom, they no longer lobby for pro-immigration policy. Moreover, trade liberalization exacerbates this negative effect of natural resource income on immigration policy openness by expediting pro-immigration firm deaths in the tradable sector. I use primary and secondary sources to investigate public debates surrounding the 1970s immigration restrictions. Then I use process tracing to examine a set of alternative hypotheses for Norway’s 1975 ban on labor immigration. I also explore other factors that shape the politics of immigration and immigration policy outcomes, including the rise of right-wing populism in Europe. Using a sample of 20 wealthy, labor-scarce democracies around the world from 1945 to 2013, I find strong evidence for the generalizability of the theoretical predictions.



About the speaker

Adrian J. Shin (Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, specializing in comparative and international political economy (CPE/IPE) with an emphasis on the political economy of international migration. His dissertation, “Primary Resources and Secondary Labor: Natural Resources and Immigration Policy around the World” has received the 2017 American Political Science Association Best Dissertation Award in Migration and Citizenship. His broad research agenda examines the causes and consequences of economic glob- alization, including the determinants of immigration policy, and the political economy of inequality. His research on immigration policy was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research through which he was a Junior Visiting Fellow at the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) of Maastricht University from January to June, 2016. One of his dissertation chapters (Shin 2017) has been published in Comparative Political Studies.



Venue: Room 1.23

Date: 14 June 2017

Time: 10:00 - 11:00


UNU-MERIT