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The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants

  • Graziella Bertocchi
  • Chiara Strozzi

We investigate the evolution of the legal institution of citizenship from a political economy perspective. We first present a median-voter model of the determination of citizenship laws. Next we test the implications of the model on a new set of data on citizenship laws across countries. We show that citizenship laws respond to economic and institutional determinants endogenously. When facing increasing immigration, countries with a jus soli regime tend to restrict their legislation, whereas countries with a jus sanguinis regime resist innovation. The welfare burden does not prove to be an obstacle to jus soli legislation, but demographic stagnation encourages it. A high degree of democracy promotes the adoption of jus soli elements, whereas instability of state borders determined by decolonization impedes it. Religion and ethnic diversity have no residual effect. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 95-136

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:53:y:2010:i:1:p:95-136
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