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Migration into the Welfare State: Tax and Migration Competition

  • Assaf Razin

In this paper I provide some support to the Tiebout hypothesis. It suggests that when a group of host countries faces an upward supply of immigrants, tax competition does not indeed lead to a race to the bottom; competition may lead to higher taxes than coordination. We identify a fiscal externality (fiscal leakage) that causes tax rates (on both labor and capital), and the volume of migration (of both skill types), to be higher in the competitive regime than in the coordinated regime. If the population growth rate is positive the young are always in the majority. When raising period t payroll taxes the young voter has a tradeoff between the negative effect ( an income transfer to the old) and a general equilibrium income boosting effect on her private pension in period t+1 and the social security benefit in period t+1. Tax rate is positive if the (state variable) the capital stock is within a certain range, or zero, otherwise. Migration share of native born population is at the max if the state variable, the capital stock, is in the above mentioned range, or intermediate level, otherwise. In the case of private saving only regime, the migration share is intermediate level. Thus, migration shares in the social security-cum-private-savings regime are either the same, or is more liberal than in the private savings-only regime. A social security system effectively create an incentive, through the political-economy mechanism, for a country to bring in migrants.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4230.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4230
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  1. Xavier Mateos-Planas, 2010. "Demographics and the Politics of Capital Taxation in a Life-Cycle Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 337-63, March.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Hatton, Timothy J., 2002. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Casarico, Alessandra & Devillanova, Carlo, 2003. "Social security and migration with endogenous skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 773-797, March.
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  7. Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2012. "Welfare Magnet Hypothesis, Fiscal Burden and Immigration Skill Selectivity," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012036, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. 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.
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  14. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation," NBER Working Papers 14633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Edward M. Gramlich & Deborah S. Laren, 1984. "Migration and Income Redistribution Responsibilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-511.
  19. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
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  27. J. R. Walker, . "Migration amoung low-income households: Helping the witch doctors reach consensus," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1031-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  28. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Welfare Migration: Is the Net Fiscal Burden a Good Measure of Its Economic Impact on the Welfare of the Native Born Population?," NBER Working Papers 10682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Enchautegui, Maria E, 1997. "Welfare Payments and Other Economic Determinants of Female Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 529-54, July.
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