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Immigration and income redistribution: A political economy analysis

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  • Karin Mayr

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of immigration on the extent of income redistribution via majority voting on the income tax. The tax outcome depends on the size of the native majority and the initial amount of redistribution in the economy, which in turn determines the skill composition of immigrants. As a main result, we derive conditions for multiple tax equilibria: if the native majority of either skilled or unskilled is not too strong and immigrants are allowed to vote, both a high-tax and a low-tax outcome is possible. In a referendum, natives will then vote against immigrant voting. At best, natives are indifferent towards immigrant voting. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Mayr, 2007. "Immigration and income redistribution: A political economy analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 101-116, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:131:y:2007:i:1:p:101-116
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9107-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 2002. "Tax burden and migration: a political economy theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 167-190, August.
    2. Alexander Kemnitz, 2002. "On the Political Economy of Low Skilled Immigration and the Welfare State," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 423-434, August.
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    4. David E. Wildasin, 1994. "Income Redistribution and Migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 637-656, August.
    5. Jonathan Coppel & Jean-Christophe Dumont & Ignazio Visco, 2001. "Trends in Immigration and Economic Consequences," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 284, OECD Publishing.
    6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 1998. "Social insurance, majority voting and labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 397-420, June.
    7. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
    8. Lejour, Arjan M & Verbon, Harrie A A, 1994. "Labour Mobility and Decision Making on Social Insurance in an Integrated Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 161-185, April.
    9. Mazza, Isidoro & van Winden, Frans, 1996. "A Political Economic Analysis of Labor Migration and Income Redistribution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(3-4), pages 333-363, September.
    10. Scholten, Ulrich & Thum, Marcel, 1996. "Public Pensions and Immigration Policy in a Democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 347-361, June.
    11. Haupt, Alexander & Peters, Wolfgang, 1998. "Public Pensions and Voting on Immigration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 403-413, June.
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    2. Gaston, Noel & Rajaguru, Gulasekaran, 2013. "International migration and the welfare state revisited," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 90-101.
    3. Bougheas, Spiros & Nelson, Doug, 2013. "On the political economy of high skilled migration and international trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 206-224.
    4. Bergh, Andreas & Fink, Günther, 2009. "Immigrants’ Attitudes towards Redistribution: Implications for the Welfare State," Ratio Working Papers 138, The Ratio Institute.
    5. Raul Magni-Berton, 2014. "Immigration, redistribution, and universal suffrage," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 391-409, September.
    6. Christine Fauvelle-Aymar, 2014. "The welfare state, migration, and voting rights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 105-120, April.
    7. Holger Stichnoth, 2012. "Does immigration weaken natives’ support for the unemployed? Evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 631-654, June.
    8. Benjamin Powell, 2012. "Coyote ugly: the deadweight cost of rent seeking for immigration policy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 195-208, January.
    9. Giuseppe Russo, 2011. "Voting over selective immigration policies with immigration aversion," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 325-351, December.
    10. Ulrich Hendel & Salmai Qari, 2014. "Immigration and Attitudes Towards Day Care," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 997-1029, November.

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