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Immigration as a Commitment Device

  • Kemnitz, Alexander

This paper shows that the toleration of immigrants who are on average less skilled than natives can be part of a support-maximizing government policy, despite a general political bias in favor of the poor. We make this point in a simple model with redistributive unemployment insurance. Once wage contracts are binding, the government has an incentive to increase the unemployment benefit, leading to excessive unemployment. Affecting the political balance within the constituency, immigrants can serve as a commitment device against this time-inconsistency. We show that this possibility can be greatly promoted by restrictions on political naturalization.

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File URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/997/1/614.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre in its series Discussion Papers with number 614.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:mnh:vpaper:997
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  1. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Labor Market Competition And Individual Preferences Over Immigration Policy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 133-145, February.
  3. Casey B Mulligan, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 154, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Fuest, Clemens & Thum, Marcel, 2000. "Welfare effects of immigration in a dual labor market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 551-563, September.
  5. Kemnitz, Alexander, 2003. "Unemployment, Technology and the Welfare Effects of Immigration," Discussion Papers 611, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
  6. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Assaf Razin & Effraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: A Political Economy Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  9. Fuest, Clemens & Thum, Marcel, 2001. "Immigration and skill formation in unionised labour markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 557-573, September.
  10. Mazza, Isidoro & van Winden, Frans, 1996. " A Political Economic Analysis of Labor Migration and Income Redistribution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(3-4), pages 333-63, September.
  11. Paola Profeta, 2002. "Retirement and Social Security in a Probabilistic Voting Model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 331-348, August.
  12. Assar Lindbeck & J├Ârgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  13. Casarico, Alessandra & Devillanova, Carlo, 2003. "Social security and migration with endogenous skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 773-797, March.
  14. Alexander Kemnitz, 2002. "On the Political Economy of Low Skilled Immigration and the Welfare State," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 423-434, August.
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