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Immigration and the Survival of Social Security: A Political Economy Model

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  • Edith Sand
  • Assaf Razin

Abstract

In the political debate people express the idea that immigrants are good because they can help pay for the old. The paper explores this idea in a dynamic political-economy setup. For this purpose we develop an OLG political economy model of social security and migration. We characterize sub-game perfect Markov equilibria where immigration policy and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) social security system are jointly determined through a majority voting process. The main feature of the model is that immigrants are desirable for the sustainability of the social security system because the political system is able to manipulate the ratio of old to young and thereby the coalition which supports future high social security benefits. We demonstrate that the older is the native born population the more likely is that the immigration policy is liberalized and the social security system survives.

Suggested Citation

  • Edith Sand & Assaf Razin, 2006. "Immigration and the Survival of Social Security: A Political Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 12800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12800
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2000. " Unskilled Migration: A Burden or a Boon for the Welfare State?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 463-479, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davide, DOTTORI & I-Ling, SHEN, 2008. "Low-Skilled Immigration and th Expansion of Private Schools," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    2. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_119 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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