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Tax Burden and Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Razin, Assaf

    (Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)

  • Sadka, Efraim

    (Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)

  • Swagel, Phillip

    (Research Department, International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

The extent of taxation and redistribution Policy is generally determined as a political-economy equilibrium by a balance between those who gain from higher taxes/transfers and those who lose. In a stylized model of migration and human capital formation, we show - somewhat against the conventional wisdom - that low-skill immigration may lead to a lower tax burden and less redistribution than would be the case with no immigration, even though migrants (naturally) join the pro-tax/transfer coalition. Data on 11 European countries over the period 1974 to 1992 are consistent with the implications of the theory: a higher share of immigrants in the population leads to a lower tax rate on labor income, with the effect statistically significant even after controlling for the generosity and size of the welfare state, demographics, and the international exposure of the economy. As predicted by the theory, it is the increased share of low-education immigrants that leads to the smaller tax burden.

Suggested Citation

  • Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration," Economics Series 59, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:59
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    File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-59.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1998
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Karin Mayr, 2003. "Immigration and Majority Voting on Income Redistriubtion-Is there a Case for Opposition from Natives?," Economics working papers 2003-08, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Jean-Marie Grether & Jaime de Melo & Tobias Müller, 2015. "The Political Economy of International Migration in a Ricardo–Viner Model," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 17, pages 411-437, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants: Welfare-State Determinants across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1768, CESifo.
    4. Dieter Gstach & Thomas Grandner, 2000. "Restricted immigration in a two-sector economy," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 6(3), pages 404-416, August.
    5. Koethenbuerger, Marko, 2014. "Competition for migrants in a federation: Tax or transfer competition?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 110-118.
    6. Razin, Assaf & Wahba, Jackline, 2011. "Free vs. Restricted Immigration: Bilateral Country Study," IZA Discussion Papers 5546, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Giovanni Facchini & Anna Maria Mayda, 2009. "Does the Welfare State Affect Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants? Evidence across Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 295-314, May.
    8. Warin Thierry & Svaton Pavel, 2008. "European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-32, September.
    9. Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2015. "Welfare Magnet Hypothesis, Fiscal Burden, and Immigration Skill Selectivity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 369-402, April.
    10. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phillip, 2002. "Tax burden and migration: a political economy theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 167-190, August.
    11. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Benjarong Suwankiri, 2009. "Migration and the welfare state: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory," NBER Working Papers 14784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. ?gel Solano Garc?, 2004. "Does illegal immigration empower rightist parties?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 614.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    13. Bjørn Volkerink & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2002. "Tax Ratios in Macroeconomics: Do Taxes Really Matter?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 209-224, September.
    14. repec:kap:iaecre:v:6:y:2000:i:3:p:404-416 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
    16. Hansson, Åsa & Olofsdotter, Karin, 2005. "Integration and Tax Competition: An Empirical Study of OECD Countries," Working Papers 2005:4, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 09 Feb 2005.
    17. 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.
    18. Hansen, Jorgen Drud, 2003. "Immigration and income redistribution in welfare states," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 735-746, November.
    19. Edith Sand & Assaf Razin, 2006. "Immigration and the Survival of Social Security: A Political Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 12800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Alon Cohen & Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2009. "The Skill Composition of Migration and the Generosity of the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 14738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Assaf Razin, 2001. "Policy implications of demographic change: panel discussion: notes on demographic changes and the welfare state," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 46, pages 289-296.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Political-economy Equilibrium; Tax-transfer Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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