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Migration and Social Replacement Incomes: How to Protect Low-Income Workers in the Industrialized Countries Against the Forces of Globalization and Market Integration

  • Hans-Werner Sinn

This paper discusses how an industrialized country could defend the wages and social benefits of its unskilled workers against wage competition from immigrants. It shows that fixing social standards harms the workers and that fixing social replacement incomes implies migration into unemployment. Defending wages with replacement incomes brings about first-order efficiency losses that outweigh the budget cost to the government. By contrast, wage subsidies involve much smaller welfare losses. While the exclusion of migrants from a national replacement program does not improve the situation, the (temporary) exclusion of migrants from a national subsidy program makes it possible to avoid a distortion of the migration pattern.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-08/cesifo1_wp1265.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1265.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1265
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  1. Burgess, Simon M, 1988. "Employment Adjustment in UK Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 81-103, March.
  2. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "EU Enlargement and the Future of the Welfare State," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(1), pages 104-15, February.
  3. Hans-Werner Sinn & Gebhard Flaig & Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Nicola Düll & Herbert Hofmann, 2001. "EU-Erweiterung und Arbeitskräftemigration : Wege zu einer schrittweisen Annäherung der Arbeitsmärkte," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 2, October.
  4. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
  5. Cremer, H. & Pestieau, P., . "Distributive implications of European integration," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1237, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Hans-Werner Sinn & Martin Werding, 2001. "Immigration Following EU Eastern Enlargement," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(2), pages 40-47, October.
  7. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  8. Wildasin, D.E., 1992. "Income Restribution and Migration," Papers 92-003, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  9. Franz, Wolfgang & Konig, Heinz, 1986. "The Nature and Causes of Unemployment in the Federal Republic of Germany since the 1970s: An Empirical Investigation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages S219-44, Supplemen.
  10. Jan K. Brueckner, 1999. "Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 505-525, January.
  11. Richter, Wolfram F., 2004. "Delaying integration of immigrant labor for the purpose of taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 597-613, May.
  12. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Ochel, Wolfgang, 2003. "Social Union, Convergence and Migration," Munich Reprints in Economics 948, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
  14. Nickell, Stephen J & Symons, James, 1990. "The Real Wage-Employment Relationship in the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 1-15, January.
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