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Is Selling Immigration Rights Politically Sustainable ?

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  • Bertrand CRETTEZ

    (Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II)

Abstract

This paper relies on Benhabib (1996)’ s immigration model to analyze the political sustainability of selling immigration permits, an idea proposed by Gary Becker. To simplify the analysis, we focus on the effects of immigration flows on input prices. We find that immigration quotas almost always generate the highest capital-labor ratio (and thus the highest wage rate). We also provide an example in which immigration permits generate the lowest value of the capital-labor ratio when permits sales are wasted. Under this last assumption, we show that if the wealth of the median voter is low enough, immigration quotas will be chosen over immigration permits. If the median voter’s wealth is high, then the issue of majority voting will be the system which delivers the lowest capital-labor ratio.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand CRETTEZ, 2011. "Is Selling Immigration Rights Politically Sustainable ?," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2011042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2011042
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David de la Croix & Frederic Docquier, 2015. "An Incentive Mechanism to Break the Low-skill Immigration Deadlock," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 593-618, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration quotas; immigration permits; rights to immigrate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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