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Voting on mass immigration restriction

  • Francesco Magris
  • Giuseppe Russo

We study how immigration policies are determined under voting in a model where immigration redistributes income from wages to capital, migration decisions are endogenous, there exist border enforcement costs and preference for home-country consumption. We model the migration policy as a pure entry rationing rather than a necessarily porous screening system. Unlike the existing results of polarization, our findings show that preferences about frontier closure are distributed on a continuum going from total closure to total openness. Thus, the Condorcet winning immigration policy may well be an interior solution. Our results fit the real-life observation that both perfect closure and perfect openness are rare events. We also study the case of a referendum over two alternative policies and show that its outcome depends upon the location of the median voter with respect to the individual indifferent between the two alternatives.

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Paper provided by DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) in its series DELTA Working Papers with number 2004-27.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:2004-27
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  1. Avi Weiss & Arye L. Hillman & Gil S. Epstein, 1999. "Creating illegal immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 3-21.
  2. Christina Boswell & Thomas Straubhaar, 2004. "The illegal employment of Foreign workers: an overview," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 4-7, January.
  3. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Illegal Immigration and Immigration Control," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 101-15, Summer.
  4. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Labor-Market Competition and Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," NBER Working Papers 6946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Djajic, Slobodan, 1987. "Illegal aliens, unemployment and immigration policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 235-249, February.
  6. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  7. Gabriella Bucci & Rafael Tenorio, 1996. "On financing the internal enforcement of illegal immigration policies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 65-81, February.
  8. Hill, John K & Pearce, James E, 1990. "The Incidence of Sanctions against Employers of Illegal Aliens," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 28-44, February.
  9. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
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