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Self-Interested Governments, Unionization, and Legal and Illegal Immigration

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Abstract

This paper examines an economy with following properties. Attempts to restrain illegal immigration incur costs. Illegal workers can work only in the competitive sector. Workers and employers bargain over wages in the unionized sector and lobby the government for immigration policy and workers’ bargaining power. The main findings are as follows. If the government can determine legal immigration, then it expropriates rents from labor unions. In that case, neither workers nor employers are worse off, if legal immigration is increased by an international agreement. High per worker public spending involves border enforcement and the protection of union power.

Suggested Citation

  • Tapio Palokangas, 2008. "Self-Interested Governments, Unionization, and Legal and Illegal Immigration," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 007-020, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2008_007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gordon H. Hanson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Political economy, sectoral shocks, and border enforcement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 612-638, August.
    2. Kjetil Storesletten, 2000. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 300-323, April.
    3. De New, John P & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1994. "Native Wage Impacts of Foreign Labor: A Random Effects Panel Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 177-192.
    4. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    5. J. Amegashie, 2004. "A political economy model of immigration quotas," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 255-267, November.
    6. Myers, Gordon M. & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 2000. "Immigration control and the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 183-207, February.
    7. Palokangas, Tapio, 2003. "The political economy of collective bargaining," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 253-264, April.
    8. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    9. Helmut Hofer & Peter Huber, 2003. "Wage and Mobility Effects of Trade and Migration on the Austrian Labour Market," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 107-125, June.
    10. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2004. "On The Political Economy Of Immigration And Income Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1129-1168, November.
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    12. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "East-West Trade and Migration: The Austro-German Case," IZA Discussion Papers 2, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; lobbying; labor unions; menu auction;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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