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The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Lessons from Switzerland

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  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Miguet, Florence
  • Müller, Tobias

Abstract

The issue of the free movement of persons occupies center stage in the negotiations on EU enlargement. Opinion polls and household surveys reveal that a majority of EU citizens are fearful of the consequences of the free movement of persons. Influenced by these surveys, the EU Commission and several studies have reviewed the pros and cons of alternative flexible transitional arrangement proposals ranging from the current bilateral guest-worker arrangements practiced by some EU members to the establishment of fixed quotas during a limited period of time. These suggestions are reminiscent of the Swiss experience with immigration. At the same time, under the system of direct democracy, the Swiss electorate has voted regularly since 1970 on the policies towards immigrants and on the shape of immigration policy. The Paper reviews the Swiss experience with immigration policy and draws on the unique direct-democracy setting to bypass the problem of ‘hypothetical bias’ plaguing the analysis of conventional survey data. Determinants of attitudes towards immigration are analysed using individual-level survey data for 2000.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3449.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3449

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Keywords: Direct democracy; hypothetical bias; immigration;

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References

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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "EU enlargement and the future of the welfare state," Munich Reprints in Economics 19736, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-21, June.
  3. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Schiff, Maurice, 1999. "Labor market integration in the presence of social capital," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2222, The World Bank.
  5. Jaya Krishnakumar & Tobias Muller, 2007. "Participation and voting behavior in a direct democracy: a structural model of migration policy in Switzerland," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 2007.01, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  6. de Melo, Jaime & Ettinger, Charles, 1998. "Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: A Trade-Theoretic Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 1877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Ira N. Gang & Francisco Rivera-Batiz, 1996. "Unemployment and Attitudes Towards Foreigners in the European Union: A Statistical Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 199612, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. de Melo, Jaime & Grether, Jean-Marie & Müller, Tobias, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Migration in a Ricardo-Viner Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 2714, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Peter Spencer, 2001. "E-money: Will it Take Off?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 121-136, January.
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  13. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Report No. 3: Assessment of Possible Migration Pressure and its Labour Market Impact Following EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Research Reports 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  15. Djajic, Slobodan, 1997. "Illegal Immigration and Resource Allocation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 97-117, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Silvio Tai, 2009. "Market structure and the link between migration and trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(2), pages 225-249, July.
  2. Kévin H. O’Rourke & Richard Sinnott, 2004. "Flux migratoires : économie politique de la migration et enjeux empiriques," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 18(3), pages 45-76.

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