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The Evolution of Citizenship: Economic and Institutional Determinants

  • Graziella Bertocchi


  • Chiara Strozzi


We investigate the evolution of the legal institution of citizenship from a political economy perspective. We first present a median voter model of citizenship laws determination. Next we test the implications of the model on a new data set on citizenship laws across countries of the world. We show that they have responded endogenously to economic and institutional determinants. Migration pushes national legislation in the direction of jus sanguinis. Moreover, the impact of migration interacts with that of the legal tradition. In particular, countries with a jus soli origin tend to restrict when facing an increase in immigration, while in jus sanguinis countries migration has a negligible impact. The welfare burden proves not to be an obstacle for a jus soli legislation, while demographic stagnation encourages it. A high degree of democracy promotes the adoption of jus soli elements, while the instability of state borders determined by decolonization impedes it. Religion and ethnic diversity have no residual impact.

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Paper provided by University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi" in its series Center for Economic Research (RECent) with number 009.

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Length: pages 53
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:009
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