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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. 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).
  2. Francesc Ortega & Javier G. Polavieja, 2009. "Labor-market exposure as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration," Working Papers 2009-14, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  3. Mario Izquierdo & Juan Jimeno & Juan Rojas, 2010. "On the aggregate effects of immigration in Spain," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 409-432, September.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," MPRA Paper 19183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2012. "The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 6655, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Armenter, Roc & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "Credible redistribution policy and skilled migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 228-245, February.
  9. Llavador, Humberto & Solano-García, Angel, 2011. "Immigration policy with partisan parties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 134-142, February.
  10. Pierre M. Picard & Tim Worrall, 2010. "Sustainable Migration Policies," CREA Discussion Paper Series 10-12, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  11. 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.

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