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Optimal quota for sector-specific immigration



Sectoral labor supply shortage is a cause of concern in many OECD countries and has raised support for immigration as a potential remedy. In this paper, we derive a general equilibrium model with overlapping generations, where natives require a compensating wage differential for working in one sector rather than in another. We identify price and wage effects of immigration on three different groups of natives: the young working in one of two sectors and the old. We determine the outcome of a majority vote on immigration into a given sector as well as the social optimum. The main findings are that i) the old determine the majority voting outcome of positive immigration into both sectors, if natives are not mobile across sectors, ii) the young determine the majority voting outcome of zero immigration into both sectors, if natives are mobile across sectors, iii) the social optimum is smaller than or equal to the majority voting outcome, and iv) sector-specific immigration is not always a substitute for native mobility across sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Mayr, 2008. "Optimal quota for sector-specific immigration," Economics working papers 2008-07, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2008_07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 1999. "Industry Wage Differentials Revisited: A Longitudinal Comparison of Germany and USA (1984-1996)," IZA Discussion Papers 98, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Gabriel J Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2014. "Immigration and Native Welfare," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: European Economic Integration, WTO Membership, Immigration and Offshoring, chapter 10, pages 335-372 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
    4. Klein Paul & Ventura Gustavo J, 2007. "TFP Differences and the Aggregate Effects of Labor Mobility in the Long Run," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, May.
    5. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
    6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:eme:rlecpp:rlec.2007.27 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    immigration; political economy; welfare; sectoral mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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