IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Competition for Migrants in a Federation: Tax or Transfer Competition?

  • Marko Köthenbürger

The paper provides an equilibrium analysis of how countries compete for migrants. The type of competition (tax or transfer competition) depends on whether the competing countries have similar policy preferences. With symmetric preferences, countries compete in taxes for migrants. With asymmetric preferences, migration competition takes place in income support levels. The results are robust to the degree of mobility and to whether high-income or low-income households are mobile. The results are relevant, e.g., for federal policies that tackle inefficient migration competition and for evaluating whether a country may wish to adopt unilateral ‘migration-purchase’ policies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3709.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3709
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich

Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Helmuth Cremer & Catarina Goulão, 2014. "Migration and Social Insurance," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 80(1), pages 5-29.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Social insurance, majority voting and labor mobility," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1328, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Roberto Pinheiro & Kurt Schmidheiny & Jan Eeckhout, 2011. "Spatial Sorting," 2011 Meeting Papers 488, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Fiva, Jon H., 2009. "Does welfare policy affect residential choices? An empirical investigation accounting for policy endogeneity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 529-540, April.
  5. Kar-yiu Wong & Ben Lockwood, 1997. "Specific and Ad Valorem Tariffs are not Equivalent in Trade Wars," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0081, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  6. Michel, Ph. & Pestieau, P. & Vidal, J. -P., 1998. "Labor migration and redistribution with alternative assimilation policies: The small economy case," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 363-377, May.
  7. George J. Borjas & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "The Evolution of the Mexican-Born Workforce in the United States," NBER Working Papers 11281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1997. "On the consequences of government objectives for economies with mobile populations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 265-281, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  11. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration," Economics Series 59, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  12. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  13. Glazer, Amihai & Kanniainen, Vesa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2005. "Income Taxes, Property Values and Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 1889, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Eckhard Janeba & Horst Raff, 1997. "Should the Power to Redistribute Income be (De-)Centralized? An Example," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 453-461, November.
  15. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2004. "Migration, the Life Cycle, and State Benefits: How Low Is the Bottom?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1091-1130, October.
  16. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2009. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0918, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  17. Assaf Razin & Effraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: A Political Economy Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Panu Poutvaara, 2005. "Social Security Incentives, Human Capital Investment and Mobility of Labor," CESifo Working Paper Series 1544, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Factor mobility and redistribution," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 57, pages 2529-2560 Elsevier.
  20. Saavedra, Luz Amparo, 2000. "A Model of Welfare Competition with Evidence from AFDC," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 248-279, March.
  21. Wildasin, D.E., 1989. "Some Rudimentary Duopolity Theorem," Working Papers 9, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  22. Bacolod, Marigee & Blum, Bernardo S. & Strange, William C., 2009. "Skills in the city," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 136-153, March.
  23. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  24. Nobuo Akai & Hikaru Ogawa & Yoshitomo Ogawa, 2010. "Endogenous Choice on Tax Instruments in a Tax Competition Model: Unit Tax versus Ad Valorem Tax," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 10-01, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  25. Koethenbuerger, Marko, 2011. "How do local governments decide on public policy in fiscal federalism? Tax vs. expenditure optimization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1516-1522.
  26. Kurt Schmidheiny, 2004. "Income Segregation and Local Progressive Taxation: Empirical Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 1313, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1993. "Attachment to home and efficient purchases of population in a fiscal externality economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 117-132, August.
  28. Hindriks, Jean, 1999. "The consequences of labour mobility for redistribution: tax vs. transfer competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 215-234, November.
  29. Magnus Hoffmann & Marco Runkel, 2012. "Why Countries Compete in Ad Valorem Instead of Unit Capital Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 3893, CESifo Group Munich.
  30. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2002. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," NBER Working Papers 9242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. McKinnish, Terra, 2007. "Welfare-induced migration at state borders: New evidence from micro-data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 437-450, April.
  32. Brander, James A., 1995. "Strategic trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1395-1455 Elsevier.
  33. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 73-95, March.
  34. Theodora Xenogiani, 2006. "Migration Policy and its Interactions with Aid, Trade, and Foreign Direct Investment Policies: A Background Paper," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 249, OECD Publishing.
  35. Boldrin, Michele & Canova, Fabio, 2003. "Regional Policies and EU Enlargement," CEPR Discussion Papers 3744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Figlio, David N. & Kolpin, Van W. & Reid, William E., 1999. "Do States Play Welfare Games?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 437-454, November.
  37. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  38. Bernard G. Funck & Lodovico Pizzati, 2003. "European Integration, Regional Policy, and Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15144, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3709. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.