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The Political-Economy Positive Role of the Social Security System in Sustaining Immigration (But Not Vice Versa)

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  • Edith Sand
  • Assaf Razin

Abstract

In the political-economy debate people express the idea that immigrants are good because they can help pay for the old, thus help sustaining the social security system. In addition, the median voter whose income derives from wages will wish to keep out the immigrants who will depress his/her wage. Therefore the decisive voter will keep migrants out. The paper addresses these two accepted propositions. For this purpose we develop an OLG political economy model of social security and migration to explore how migration policy and a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) social security system are jointly determined. The sub-game perfect Markov , depends on the different patterns of fertility rates among native born and migrants. Our analysis demonstrates that a social security system may change the first proposition significantly because the median voter may opt to bring in migrants to help him/her during retirement. As for the second proposition we get a significantly nuanced version. Not always immigration helps sustain the social security.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13598.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13598

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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. Friedrich Breyer & Ben Craig, 1995. "Voting on social security: evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper 9511, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  8. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," NBER Working Papers 6789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Welfare Migration: Is the Net Fiscal Burden a Good Measure of Its Economic Impact on the Welfare of the Native Born Population?," NBER Working Papers 10682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Martin S. Feldstein, 2006. "The Effects of the Ageing European Population on Economic Growth and Budgets: Implications for Immigration and Other Policies," NBER Working Papers 12736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2000. " Unskilled Migration: A Burden or a Boon for the Welfare State?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 463-79, June.
  21. Lorenzo Forni, 2005. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 178-194, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Razin, Assaf & Sand, Edith, 2009. "Migration-Regime Liberalization and Social Security: Political-Economy Effect," CEPR Discussion Papers 7310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Tim Krieger, 2014. "Public Pensions and Immigration," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 10-15, 07.
  3. Lena Calahorrano & Philipp an de Meulen, 2011. "Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0299, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Benjarong Suwankiri, 2009. "Migration and the welfare state: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory," NBER Working Papers 14784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Efraim Sadka & Ben Suwankiri & Assaf Razin, 2010. "The Welfare State and the Skill Mix of Migration: Dynamic Policy Formation," 2010 Meeting Papers 13, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Lena Calahorrano, 2011. "Population Aging and Individual Attitudes toward Immigration: Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 389, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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