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The Role of Immigration in Dealing with the Developed World's Demographic Transition

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  • Hans Fehr
  • Sabine Jokisch
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

This paper develops a three-region dynamic general-equilibrium life-cycle model to analyze general and skill-specific immigration policy in the U.S., Japan, and the E.U. Immigration is often offered as a solution to the remarkable demographic transition underway in the developed world. However, the precise net impact of expanded immigration is quite unclear. Additional immigrants pay taxes, but they also require public goods and become eligible for social security programs. Since taxes and transfer payments are collected and distributed on a progressive basis, high-skilled immigrants deliver a larger bang for the buck when it comes to paying net taxes. Our model confirms this point. Nonetheless, its findings are not pretty. It shows that a significant expansion of immigration, whether across all skill groups or among particular skill groups, will do remarkably little to alter the major capital shortage, tax hikes, and reductions in real wages that can be expected along the demographic transition.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 60 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 296-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200409)60:3_296:troiid_2.0.tx_2-_

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Related research

Keywords: demographic transition; computable general equilibrium model (CGE); immigration;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Pension reform during the demographic transition," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 8, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "Projected U.S. demographics and social security," Working Paper Series WP-98-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & James Sefton & Martin Weale, 1999. "Simulating the Transmission of Wealth Inequity via Bequests," NBER Working Papers 7183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kjetil Storesletten, . "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Homapage Papers _005, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  6. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Aging and International Capital Flows," MEA discussion paper series 02010, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Developed World's Demographic Transition - The Roles of Capital Flows, Immigration, and Policy," NBER Working Papers 10096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Pension systems in 15 countries compared: the value of entitlements," MPRA Paper 14751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  10. Lundborg, Per & Segerstrom, Paul S., 2002. "The growth and welfare effects of international mass migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 177-204, January.
  11. Philip Oreopoulos & Alan J. Auerbach, 1999. "Analyzing the Fiscal Impact of U.S. Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 176-180, May.
  12. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
  13. Robin Brooks, 2003. "Population Aging and Global Capital Flows in a Parallel Universe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(2), pages 3.
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