Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration
This paper explores the fiscal implications of immigration to the US and argues that immigration policy should be viewed as a vital part of fiscal policy. In particular a case is made that skills and age at the time of arrival are of great importance for the cost-benefit calculation of new immigrants. Using a calibrated general equilibrium overlapping generations model, which explicitly accounts for key differences between immigrants and natives, Social Security and the demographic transition, I investigate if an immigration policy reform alone could resolve the fiscal problems associated with the ageing of the baby boom generation I find that such policies exist and are characterized by increased inflows of working-age high and medium skilled immigrants. One particular feasible policy involves admitting 1.6 million 40-44 year-old high skilled immigrants annually compared to a total of 1.1 million today. In contrast an income tax hike of 4.4% points would be required if future fiscal problems were to be solved by a once and for all tax reform. To further illuminate the fiscal impact of immigration I compute the net government gain in present value terms of admitting one additional immigrant. This figure varies considerably with age and skills and reaches a maximum of seven times GNP per capita for high skilled 40-44 year-old immigrants. In contrast new immigrants represent on average a small net gain of $7,400 or 0.3 times GNP per capita.
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- Holger Bonin & Bernd Raffelhüschen & Jan Walliser, .
"Can Immigration Alleviate the Demographic Burden?,"
EPRU Working Paper Series
99-17, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994.
"Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born,"
NBER Working Papers
4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
- George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert P. Hagemann & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 1989. "The Economic Dynamics of an Ageing Population: The Case of Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 62, OECD Publishing.
- Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
- repec:oup:restud:v:63:y:1996:i:3:p:465-89 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ather H. Akbari, 1989. "The Benefits of Immigrants to Canada: Evidence on Tax and Public Services," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 15(4), pages 424-435, December.
- Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
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