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Voting on Public Pensions With Hand and Feet: How Young Migrants Try to Escape From Gerontocracy

  • Alexander Haupt
  • Wolfgang Peters

Aging changes the political power in a democracy in favor of the elder generations. Consequently, the retirees can extend the pay-as-you-go financed pensions. Under free labor mobility like within the EU, the success of gerontocracy, nevertheless, is restricted by migration of the young generations. This connection between political voting on intergenerational redistribution and voting with the feet is analyzed in a two-country model with overlapping generations. We distinguish between the case in which the young generations‘ migration decision takes its effect on future pensions into account (strategic migration) and the case in which it only reflects differentials in labor income (myopic migration). The paper also pays attention to the implications of common harmonization principles and to the consequences of price discrimination between natives and immigrants.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 523.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_523
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  1. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Friedrich Breyer & Ben Craig, 1995. "Voting on social security: evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper 9511, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," Munich Reprints in Economics 19846, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Haupt, Alexander & Peters, Wolfgang, 1998. " Public Pensions and Voting on Immigration," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 403-13, June.
  5. Meijdam, Lex & Verbon, Harrie A A, 1996. "Aging and Political Decision Making on Public Pensions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 141-58, May.
  6. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  7. Friedrich Breyer & Klaus Stolte, 2000. "Demographic Change, Endogenous Labor Supply and the Political Feasibility of Pension Reform," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 202, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. De Palma, Andre & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 1988. "Heterogeneity in states and urban structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 37-56, February.
  10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  11. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  12. Scholten, Ulrich & Thum, Marcel, 1996. " Public Pensions and Immigration Policy in a Democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(3-4), pages 347-61, June.
  13. 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.
  14. von Hagen, Jürgen & Walz, Uwe, 1994. "Social Security and Migration in an Ageing Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1022, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1998. "On the importance of public choice in migration models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 373-379, June.
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