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Immigration, Citizenship, and the Size of Government

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  • Ortega Francesc

    () (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

I study the political sustainability of the welfare state in an environment where immigration is the main demographic force and where governments choose immigration policy. Voters anticipate their children's prospects of economic mobility and the future political consequences of today's policies. The skill distribution evolves due to intergenerational skill upgrading and immigration. I consider three regimes: permanent migration with citizenship granted by jus soli, permanent migration with jus sanguinis, and temporary migration. The main finding is that under permanent migration and jus soli there exists equilibria where redistribution is sustained indefinitely, despite constant skill upgrading. This is not the case in the other regimes. The crucial insight is that unskilled voters trade-off the lower wages from larger unskilled immigration with the increased political support for redistribution provided by the children of the current immigrants. These mechanisms are relevant for the ongoing debates over comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S, and elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Ortega Francesc, 2010. "Immigration, Citizenship, and the Size of Government," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:26
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
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    9. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    10. Francesc Ortega & Ryuichi Tanaka, 2007. "Gender specialization in households: An empirical analysis," Economics Working Papers 1021, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    11. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, with an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 707-765.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:wschap:9789814719902_0010 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo & Romero, J. Gabriel, 2016. "Financing public goods and attitudes toward immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 159-178.
    3. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2016. "The Economics of Temporary Migrations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 98-136, March.
    4. Pierre M. Picard & Tim Worrall, 2010. "Sustainable Migration Policies," CREA Discussion Paper Series 10-12, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    5. Calahorrano, Lena & an de Meulen, Philipp, 2011. "Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 299, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Mario Izquierdo & Juan Jimeno & Juan Rojas, 2010. "On the aggregate effects of immigration in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 409-432, September.
    7. González, Libertad & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "How do very open economies adjust to large immigration flows? Evidence from Spanish regions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 57-70, January.
    8. David de la Croix & Frederic Docquier, 2015. "An Incentive Mechanism to Break the Low-skill Immigration Deadlock," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 593-618, July.
    9. Farré Lidia & González Libertad & Ortega Francesc, 2011. "Immigration, Family Responsibilities and the Labor Supply of Skilled Native Women," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-48, June.
    10. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés & Ángel Solano García, 2016. "Immigration, Conflict, and Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(3), pages 557-593, July.
    11. Llavador, Humberto & Solano-García, Angel, 2011. "Immigration policy with partisan parties," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 134-142, February.
    12. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2017. "Inequality, redistribution and cultural integration in the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 11916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:91-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:zbw:rwirep:0299 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "Openness and income: The roles of trade and migration," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 10, pages 309-329 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    16. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," MPRA Paper 19183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Ortega, Francesc & Polavieja, Javier G., 2012. "Labor-market exposure as a determinant of attitudes toward immigration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 298-311.
    18. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_119 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Armenter, Roc & Ortega, Francesc, 2011. "Credible redistribution policy and skilled migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 228-245, February.
    20. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2012. "The Role of Income and Immigration Policies in Attracting International Migrants," Working Papers 1214, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    21. Stark, Oded & Byra, Lukasz & Casarico, Alessandra & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2017. "A critical comparison of migration policies: Entry fee versus quota," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 91-107.
    22. 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.
    23. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    24. Paola Conconi & Giovanni Facchini & Max F. Steinhardt & Maurizio Zanardi, 2012. "The Political Economy of Trade and Migration: Evidence from the US Congress: CEPR Discussion Paper 9270," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-49, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    25. 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).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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