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Immigration and Public Spending

  • Böheim, René


    (University of Linz)

  • Mayr, Karin


    (University of Vienna)

We examine the effect of immigration on public spending from a theoretical (political economic) and an empirical perspective. We distinguish between public spending on private goods and on public goods. Our model implies that whether immigration increases or decreases public spending primarily depends on native’s preferences for private versus public good spending. We empirically test our theoretical hypotheses, the 'fiscal effect' and the 'anti-social effect' of immigration using OECD panel data for 1990 – 2001. Estimating a system of simultaneous equations for total public spending and the share of spending on private goods, we find evidence for a negative effect of low-skilled immigration on public spending which is attributable to an anti-social effect. The effect of high-skilled immigration on public spending is positive, as suggested by a fiscal effect.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1834.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1834
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  1. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Swagel, P., 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: a Political Economy Theory and Evidence," Papers 15-98, Tel Aviv.
  2. Orr, Larry L, 1976. "Income Transfers as a Public Good: An Application to AFDC," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 359-71, June.
  3. Boeri, Tito & Hanson, Gordon H. & McCormick, Barry (ed.), 2002. "Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199256310, July.
  4. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," JCPR Working Papers 61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1243-1284 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Ribar, D.C. & Wilhelm, M.O., 1992. "Welfare Generosity: The Importance of Administrative Efficiency, Community Values and Genuine Benevolence," Papers 11-92-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  11. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Factor mobility and redistribution," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 57, pages 2529-2560 Elsevier.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1243-1284 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  15. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  16. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  17. Madeline Zavodny, 1997. "Welfare and the locational choices of new immigrants," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 2-10.
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