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Immigration and the survival of the welfare state

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  • Francesc Ortega

Abstract

This paper analyzes the political sustainability of the welfare state in a model where immigration policy is also endogenous. In the model, the skills of the native population are affected by immigration and skill accumulation. Moreover, immigrants affect future policies, once they gain the right to vote. The main finding is that the long-run survival of redistributive policies is linked to an immigration policy specifying both skill and quantity restrictions. In particular, in steady state the unskilled majority admits a limited inflow of unskilled immigrants in order to offset growth in the fraction of skilled voters and maintain a high degree of income redistribution. Interestingly, equilibrium immigration policy shifts from unrestricted skilled immigration, when the country is skill-scarce, to restricted unskilled immigration, as the fraction of native skilled workers increases. The analysis also suggests a new set of variables that may help explain international differences in immigration restrictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 815.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:815

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Repeated voting; Markov equilibrium; political economy; immigration policy; welfare state; redistribution; skill premium; education;

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  3. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Gustavo Ventura & Paul Klein, 2004. "Do Migration Restrictions Matter?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 506, Econometric Society.
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  12. Storesletten, Kjetil, 1998. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Seminar Papers 664, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 1998. "On the political economy of immigration and income redistribution," Working Papers 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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  17. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosensweig & James P. Smith, 2003. "The Earnings of US immigrants," Labor and Demography 0312007, EconWPA.
  18. repec:rus:hseeco:121615 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
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  22. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  23. Ortega, Francesc, 2005. "Immigration quotas and skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1841-1863, September.
  24. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
  25. Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "The dynamics of government," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1331-1358, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Willmann, Gerald & Blanchard, Emily J., 2007. "Political Stasis or Protectionist Rut? Policy Mechanisms for Trade Reform in a Democracy," Economics Working Papers 2007,21, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  2. Pawel Kaczmarczyk, 2013. "Are immigrants a burden for the state budget? Review paper," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers p0356, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  3. Blanchard, Emily & Willmann, Gerald, 2011. "Escaping a protectionist rut: Policy mechanisms for trade reform in a democracy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 72-85, September.

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