Effects of Legal and Unauthorized Immigration on the US Social Security System
AbstractImmigration is having an increasingly important effect on the social insurance system in the United States. On the one hand, eligible legal immigrants have the right to eventually receive pension benefits but also rely on other aspects of the social insurance system such as health care, disability, unemployment insurance, and welfare programs, while most of their savings have direct positive effects on the domestic economy. On the other hand, most undocumented immigrants contribute to the system through taxed wages but are not eligible for these programs unless they attain legal status, and a large proportion of their savings translates into remittances that have no direct effects on the domestic economy. Moreover, a significant percentage of immigrants migrate back to their countries of origin after a relatively short period of time, and their savings while in the United States are predominantly in the form of remittances. Therefore, any analysis that tries to understand the impact of immigrant workers on the overall system has to take into account the decisions and events these individuals face throughout their lives, as well as the use of the government programs they are entitled to. We propose a life-cycle Overlapping Generations (OLG) model in a general equilibrium framework of legal and undocumented immigrants' decisions regarding consumption, savings, labor supply, and program participation to analyze their role in the financial sustainability of the system. Our analysis of the effects of potential policy changes, such as giving some undocumented immigrants legal status, shows increases in capital stock, output, consumption, labor productivity, and overall welfare. The effects are relatively small in percentage terms but considerable given the size of our economy.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_689.
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org
Legal and Undocumented Immigration; Social Security; Remittances; Life-cycle Models; OLG Models; General Equilibrium Models;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
- J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2011-10-15 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-LAB-2011-10-15 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-MIG-2011-10-15 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010.
"Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
- Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal we stand: an empirical analysis of economic inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," Staff Report 436, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," NBER Working Papers 15483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio & Violante, Giovanni L, 2009. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Code and data files for "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006"," Computer Codes 09-214, Review of Economic Dynamics.
- Timothy Miller & Ronald Lee, 2000. "Immigration, Social Security, and Broader Fiscal Impacts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 350-354, May.
- Stuart J. Wilson, 2003. "A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis of Migration and Capital Formation: The Case of Canada," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(2), pages 455-481, April.
- Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004.
"The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior,"
Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
wp2004-12, Center for Retirement Research, revised Apr 2004.
- Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2011. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self‐Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 693-732, 05.
- Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2001. "The effects of health insurance and self-insurance on retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-01-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Eric French and John Jones, 2001. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 24, Society for Computational Economics.
- John Bailey Jones & Eric French, 2010. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Discussion Papers 10-10, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
- Eric French & John BaileyJones, 2007. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Working Papers wp170, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
- repec:att:wimass:9430 is not listed on IDEAS
- Razin, Assaf & Sand, Edith, 2007.
"The Role of Immigration in Sustaining the Social Security System: A Political Economy Approach,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6302, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Edith Sand & Assaf Razin, 2007. "The Role of Immigration in Sustaining the Social Security System: A Political Economy Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1979, CESifo Group Munich.
- Alexander Kemnitz, 2003. "Immigration, Unemployment and Pensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 31-48, 03.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997.
"How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Public Economics 9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
- M. Dolores Collado & Iñigo Iturbe Ormaetxe & Guadalupe Valera, 2002.
"Quantifying The Impact Of Immigration On The Spanish Welfare State,"
Working Papers. Serie AD
2002-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
- M. Dolores Collado & IÒigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe & Guadalupe Valera, 2004. "Quantifying the Impact of Immigration on the Spanish Welfare State," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 335-353, 05.
- Pedro Silos, 2005.
"Housing, portfolio choice, and the macroeconomy,"
2005-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Wilbert van der Klaauw & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2005.
"Social Security and the Retirement and Savings Behavior of Low Income Households,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
05-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- van der Klaauw, Wilbert & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2008. "Social security and the retirement and savings behavior of low-income households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 21-42, July.
- Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995.
"The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
- Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:2:p:395-427 is not listed on IDEAS
- Holger Bonin & Bernd Raffelhüschen & Jan Walliser, .
"Can Immigration Alleviate the Demographic Burden?,"
EPRU Working Paper Series
99-17, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Fedor Iskhakov, 2010. "Structural dynamic model of retirement with latent health indicator," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 13(3), pages S126-S161, October.
- Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1.
- Luisa Fuster & Gueorgui Kambourov & Andres Erosa, 2011. "A Theory of Labor Supply Late in the Life Cycle: Social Security and Disability Insurance," 2011 Meeting Papers 106, Society for Economic Dynamics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marie-Celeste Edwards).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.