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Migration and the Welfare State: The Economic Power of the Non-Voter?

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  • Kira Boerner
  • Silke Uebelmesser

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of emigration on the political choice regarding the size of the welfare state. Mobility has two countervailing effects: the political participation effect and the tax base effect. With emigration, the composition of the constituency changes. This increases the political influence of the less mobile part of the population. The new political majority has to take into account that emigration reduces tax revenues and thereby affects the feasible set of redistribution policies. The interaction of the two effects has so far not been analyzed in isolation. We find that the direction of the total effect of migration depends on the initial income distribution in the economy. Our results also contribute to the empirical debate on the validity of the median-voter approach for explaining the relation between income inequality and redistribution levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1517.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1517

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Keywords: migration; redistribution; voting;

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References

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  1. Anke S. Kessler & Nico A. Hansen & Christian Lessmann, 2011. "Interregional Redistribution and Mobility in Federations: A Positive Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1345-1378.
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  15. Eckhard Janeba & Horst Raff, 1997. "Should the Power to Redistribute Income be (De-)Centralized? An Example," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 453-461, November.
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  23. Kathleen M. Day & Stanley L. Winer, 2005. "Policy-induced Internal Migration: An Empirical Investigation of the Canadian Case," CESifo Working Paper Series 1605, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Munich Reprints in Economics 13961, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Alexander Haupt & Silke Uebelmesser, 2009. "Voting on Labour-Market Integration and Education Policy when Citizens Differ in Mobility and Ability," CESifo Working Paper Series 2588, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Victoria Chorny & Rob Euwals & Kees Folmer, 2007. "Immigration policy and welfare state design; a qualitative approach to explore the interaction," CPB Document 153, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Giuranno, Michele G. & Rongili, Biswas, 2012. "Inter-jurisdictional migration and the size of government," MPRA Paper 42604, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Kathleen M. Day & Stanley L. Winer, 2005. "Policy-induced Internal Migration: An Empirical Investigation of the Canadian Case," CESifo Working Paper Series 1605, CESifo Group Munich.

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