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Migration and the Welfare State: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory

  • Razin, Assaf
  • Sadka, Efraim
  • Suwankiri, Benjarong

We develop a dynamic politico-economic theory of welfare state, featuring three groups of voters: skilled workers, unskilled workers, and old retirees. The welfare-state is modeled by a proportional tax on labor income to finance a demogrant in a balanced-budget manner to capture the essence of inter- and intra-generational redistribution of a typical welfare system. Migrants arrive when young and their birth rate exceeds the native-born birth rate. We characterize political-economic equilibrium policy rules consisting of the tax rate, the skill composition of migrants, and the total number of migrants, in terms of demographic and labor productivity characteristics. We find that political coalitions will form among skilled and unskilled voters or among unskilled and old voters in order to block the other group from coming into power. As a consequence, the ideal polices of the unskilled voters always feature in any political economy equilibrium.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7996.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7996
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  6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, 03.
  7. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Welfare Migration: Is the Net Fiscal Burden a Good Measure of its Economics Impact on the Welfare of the Native-Born Population?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1273, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  9. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration," Economics Series 59, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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  12. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2003. "The Political Economy of Immigrationa and Income Redistribution," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0312, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  13. Alon Cohen & Assaf Razin, 2008. "The Skill Composition of Immigrants and the Generosity of the Welfare State: Free vs. Policy-Controlled Migration," NBER Working Papers 14459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
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  17. Kjetil Storesletten, . "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Homapage Papers _005, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  19. Krusell, Per & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 301-29, April.
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  37. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1999. "Migration and pension with international capital mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 141-150, October.
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