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Estimating The Impact Of Immigrants On The Host Country Social Security System When Return Migration Is An Endogenous Choice

  • Murat G. Kirdar

In this paper, I examine the impact of immigrants on the social security system in Germany when return migration is an endogenous choice. For this purpose, I develop a dynamic stochastic model of joint return migration and saving decisions that accounts for uncertainty in future employment and income and estimate this model using a longitudinal dataset on immigrants from five different source countries. I find that immigrants make positive net contributions to both the pension and unemployment insurance systems in Germany regardless of their country of origin and age-at-entry. Moreover, the magnitudes of the net contributions are remarkable for certain groups. Return migration plays a critical role in generating these positive net contributions. In a counterfactual, I examine how much exogenous modeling of the return decision, which has been the practice of the literature so far, changes immigrants’ net contributions. Such a restriction causes a serious misestimation of net contributions. I also examine the impact of a counterfactual policy experiment in which financial bonuses are provided conditional on return to certain unemployed immigrants. Such a policy turns out to be ineffective in a number of dimensions.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 453-486

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Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:53:y:2012:i:2:p:453-486
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