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The Role of Immigration in Dealing with the Developed World's Demographic Transition

Author

Listed:
  • Hans Fehr
  • Sabine Jokisch
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

This paper develops a three-region dynamic general-equilibrium life-cycle model to analyze general and skill-specific immigration policy in the U.S., Japan, and the E.U. Immigration is often offered as a solution to the remarkable demographic transition underway in the developed world. However, the precise net impact of expanded immigration is quite unclear. Additional immigrants pay taxes, but they also require public goods and become eligible for social security programs. Since taxes and transfer payments are collected and distributed on a progressive basis, high-skilled immigrants deliver a larger bang for the buck when it comes to paying net taxes. Our model confirms this point. Nonetheless, its findings are not pretty. It shows that a significant expansion of immigration, whether across all skill groups or among particular skill groups, will do remarkably little to alter the major capital shortage, tax hikes, and reductions in real wages that can be expected along the demographic transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2004. "The Role of Immigration in Dealing with the Developed World's Demographic Transition," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 296-296, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200409)60:3_296:troiid_2.0.tx_2-_
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kjetil Storesletten, 2000. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 300-323, April.
    2. Lundborg, Per & Segerstrom, Paul S., 2002. "The growth and welfare effects of international mass migration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 177-204, January.
    3. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
    4. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
    5. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2001. "Aging and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 8553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Larry Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Developed World's Demographic Transition - the Roles of Capital Flows, Immigration, and Policy," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-133, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
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    9. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
    10. Gokhale, Jagadeesh & Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Sefton, James & Weale, Martin, 2001. "Simulating the transmission of wealth inequality via bequests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 93-128, January.
    11. Alan Auerbach & Laurence Kotlikoff, 2002. "Auerbach-Kotlikoff Model," QM&RBC Codes 90, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
    12. Whitehouse, Edward, 2001. "Pension systems in 15 countries compared: the value of entitlements," MPRA Paper 14751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Robin Brooks, 2003. "Population Aging and Global Capital Flows in a Parallel Universe," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(2), pages 1-3.
    14. Fehr, Hans, 2000. " Pension Reform during the Demographic Transition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 419-443, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic transition; computable general equilibrium model (CGE); immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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