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Social Harmony at the Boundaries of the Welfare State: Immigrants and Social Transfers

  • Epstein, Gil S.

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Hillman, Arye L.

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

The social contract of the welfare state can be strained by the arrival of immigrants who receive welfare payments financed by citizens’ taxes. We show, however, that the presence of unemployed immigrants receiving welfare payments is consistent with social harmony. The social harmony, which is a consequence of a view of unemployment as a labor-market discipline, contrasts with the social conflict predicted by Karl Marx when he proposed his earlier version of the same explanation for unemployment. We demonstrate that a socially harmonious policy is always feasible. Outcomes without social harmony can therefore always be suitably amended.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp168.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 168.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2003, 87 (7-8), 1641-1655
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp168
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  1. Snower, Dennis J., 1994. "What is the Domain of the Welfare State?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1991. "Interactions between the efficiency wage and insider-outsider theories," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 193-196, October.
  4. Konrad, Kai A, 1994. "The Strategic Advantage of Being Poor: Private and Public Provision of Public Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 79-92, February.
  5. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1995. " A Theory of the Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 495-526, December.
  6. Lindbeck, A., 1993. "The Welfare State and the Employment Problem," Papers 561, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. Djajic, Slobodan, 1997. "Illegal Immigration and Resource Allocation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 97-117, February.
  8. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  9. Snower, Dennis J, 1993. "The Future of the Welfare State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 700-717, May.
  10. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  12. Epstein, Gil S & Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1999. "The King Never Emigrates," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 107-21, June.
  13. Hillman, Arye L. & Weiss, Avi, 1999. "A theory of permissible illegal immigration," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 585-604, November.
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