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The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants

  • Bertocchi, Graziella
  • Strozzi, Chiara

We investigate the origin and evolution of the legal institution of citizenship from a political economy perspective. We compile a new data set on citizenship laws across countries of the world which documents how these institutions have evolved in the postwar period. We show that, despite a persistent impact of the original legislation, they have responded endogenously and systematically to a number of economic determinants, such as migration, the size of government, and the demographic structure of the population. Overall, a large stock of migrants decreases the probability of adoption of a mix of jus soli and jus sanguinis provisions, while it pushes jus sanguinis countries toward the adoption of jus soli elements. The welfare burden proves not to be an obstacle for a jus soli legislation, while demographic stagnation encourages the adoption of mixed and jus soli regimes. We also gauge the potential role of legal, political and cultural determinants, and find that a jus sanguinis origin is a factor of resistance to change, that a high degree of democracy promotes the adoption of jus soli elements while the instability of state borders associated with decolonization impedes it, and that cultural factors have no impact.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6066.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6066
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
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  13. Bertocchi, Graziella & Strozzi, Chiara, 2006. "The Age of Mass Migration: Economic and Institutional Determinants," IZA Discussion Papers 2499, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  24. Mark Gradstein & Maurice Schiff, 2006. "The political economy of social exclusion, with implications for immigration policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 327-344, June.
  25. Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2008. "International migration and the role of institutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 81-102, October.
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