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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. Hans-Werner Sinn & Gebhard Flaig & Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Nicola Düll & Herbert Hofmann, 2001. "EU-Erweiterung und Arbeitskräftemigration : Wege zu einer schrittweisen Annäherung der Arbeitsmärkte," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 2.
  2. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "EU Enlargement and the Future of the Welfare State," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(1), pages 104-15, February.
  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. Bilal, S. & Grether, J.-M. & de Melo, J., 1998. "Determinants of Attitudes Towards Immigration: A Trade-Theoretic Approach," Research Papers by the Department of Economics, University of Geneva 98.12, Département des Sciences Économiques, Université de Genève.
  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 Department of Economics, University of Geneva 2007.01, Département des Sciences Économiques, Université de Genève.
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  10. 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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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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