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Immigration, Citizenship, and the Size of Government

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  • Ortega Francesc

    ()
    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

I study the political sustainability of the welfare state in an environment where immigration is the main demographic force and where governments choose immigration policy. Voters anticipate their children's prospects of economic mobility and the future political consequences of today's policies. The skill distribution evolves due to intergenerational skill upgrading and immigration. I consider three regimes: permanent migration with citizenship granted by jus soli, permanent migration with jus sanguinis, and temporary migration. The main finding is that under permanent migration and jus soli there exists equilibria where redistribution is sustained indefinitely, despite constant skill upgrading. This is not the case in the other regimes. The crucial insight is that unskilled voters trade-off the lower wages from larger unskilled immigration with the increased political support for redistribution provided by the children of the current immigrants. These mechanisms are relevant for the ongoing debates over comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S, and elsewhere.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-40

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:26

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Cited by:
  1. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-06, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  2. Ortega, Francesc & Polavieja, Javier G., 2009. "Labor-Market Exposure as a Determinant of Attitudes toward Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 4519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Mario Izquierdo & Juan F. Jimeno & Juan A. Rojas, 2007. "On the aggregate effects of immigration in Spain," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0714, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. Pierre M. Picard & Tim Worrall, 2011. "Sustainable Migration Policies," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1122, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  5. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants," Working Papers 1214, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2014. "Openness and income: The roles of trade and migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 231-251.
  7. Lena Calahorrano, 2011. "Population Aging and Individual Attitudes toward Immigration: Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 389, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. Lena Calahorrano & Philipp an de Meulen, 2011. "Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0299, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  9. Humberto Llavador & Angel Solano-García, 2009. "Immigration policy with partisan parties," Economics Working Papers 1169, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2010.
  10. González, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Evidence from Spanish regions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-70, January.
  11. Armenter, Roc & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "Credible redistribution policy and skilled migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 228-245, February.

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