An Empirical Analysis of the State’s Monopolization of the Legitimate Means of Movement: Evaluating the Effects of Required Passport use on International Travel
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The increased demand for travel coupled with increasing varieties in the types of travelers over the past hundred years has lead to nations around the world increasing the identification requirements for travelers crossing over their borders. One method for reducing the amount of unnecessary movement is to require all travelers, foreign or domestic, to use a passport for legal entrance. On January 23, 2007, the United States government began requiring U.S. citizens returning from abroad in the Western Hemisphere to use a passport. This is a large shift in identification requirements from a driver's license and a birth certificate. The purpose of this research is to determine whether requiring a passport for the purpose of returning from abroad where one had previously not been required before has had an impact on the number of air travelers to countries affected by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The research hypothesis states that the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will have a negative effect on the number of air travelers going to affected countries. This hypothesis was tested using an interrupted time-series regression analysis. To test the hypothesis, monthly data points are employed for the number of air travelers traveling from affected countries before and after the passport requirement was implemented. The number of traveler's data is provided by the United States Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Quantitative analysis is used to determine the impact of requiring a passport for identification on international travel. Ultimately, results of the time-series regression analysis did not support the hypothesis. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was policy neutral.