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On the welfare impacts of an immigration amnesty

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  • Joël MACHADO

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

This paper aims to assess the effects of an immigration amnesty on agents' welfare by using a simple two-period overlapping generations model. Given that illegal immigrants play a role in the economy even before being regularized, an amnesty differs from new immigration. In the presence of labor market discrimination, capital holders are harmed as the acquisition of legal status increases the wage bill that they pay. The net fiscal effect strongly depends on the discrimination that illegal workers face ex ante. A calibration of the model on Germany and the United Kingdom highlights overall limited economic consequences of amnesty which can be contrasted to the effects of deportation and new legal immigration. In particular, when public welfare expenditures are low, amnesty and new immigration can increase native's welfare in the long run while deportation might harm less-educated agents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2012010.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 09 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2012010

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Keywords: illegal immigration; amnesty; regularization; discrimination;

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  1. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sherrie A. Kossoudji & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2002. "Coming out of the Shadows: Learning about Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 598-628, July.
  3. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," NBER Working Papers 3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. David Card, 2009. "Immigration and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Silvia Helena Barcellos, 2010. "Legalization and the Economic Status of Immigrants," Working Papers 754, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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  14. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  15. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
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  17. Karlson, Stephen H. & Katz, Eliakim, 2003. "A positive theory of immigration amnesties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 231-239, February.
  18. Angrist, Joshua D, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1065-87, December.
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