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Public Pensions and Immigration Policy in a Democracy

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  • Scholten, Ulrich
  • Thum, Marcel

Abstract

The paper analyzes the link between the public pension system and the immigration policy. In a pay-as-you-go system, the incentives for immigration vary significantly between individuals at different lifetime periods. In the framework of an overlapping generations model, the authors show that the median voter's choice in general leads to inefficient levels of immigration. The median voter neglects the effects of the externalities within the pension system on other generations. An immigration policy that is not affected by the median voter's choice but instead is constitutionally determined will avoid welfare losses. The expected lifetime income of each generation can be increased by applying a rule of steady immigration. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Scholten, Ulrich & Thum, Marcel, 1996. "Public Pensions and Immigration Policy in a Democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 347-361, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:87:y:1996:i:3-4:p:347-61
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the "Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 395-426, October.
    2. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
    3. Kenny, Lawrence W., 1982. "Economies of scale in schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, February.
    4. Robert J. Blendon, 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 105-118, Summer.
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