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Immigration and public spending

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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File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2005/wp0512.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2005-12.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2005_12
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Web page: http://www.econ.jku.at/

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  1. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2001. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 8405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  3. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  4. 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.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, March.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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