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The Political-Economy Positive Role of the Social Security System in Sustaining Immigration (But Not Vice Versa)

Author

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  • Edith Sand
  • Assaf Razin

Abstract

In the political-economy debate people express the idea that immigrants are good because they can help pay for the old, thus help sustaining the social security system. In addition, the median voter whose income derives from wages will wish to keep out the immigrants who will depress his/her wage. Therefore the decisive voter will keep migrants out. The paper addresses these two accepted propositions. For this purpose we develop an OLG political economy model of social security and migration to explore how migration policy and a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) social security system are jointly determined. The sub-game perfect Markov , depends on the different patterns of fertility rates among native born and migrants. Our analysis demonstrates that a social security system may change the first proposition significantly because the median voter may opt to bring in migrants to help him/her during retirement. As for the second proposition we get a significantly nuanced version. Not always immigration helps sustain the social security.

Suggested Citation

  • Edith Sand & Assaf Razin, 2007. "The Political-Economy Positive Role of the Social Security System in Sustaining Immigration (But Not Vice Versa)," NBER Working Papers 13598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13598
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Kjetil Storesletten, 2000. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 300-323, April.
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    7. Tabellini, Guido, 2000. " A Positive Theory of Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 523-545, June.
    8. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
    9. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
    10. 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.
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    14. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Welfare Migration: Is the Net Fiscal Burden a Good Measure of its Economic Impact on the Welfare of the Native-Born Population?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(4), pages 709-716.
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    19. Phillip L 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Krieger, 2014. "Public Pensions and Immigration," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 10-15, 07.
    2. Calahorrano, Lena & an de Meulen, Philipp, 2011. "Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 299, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Assaf Razin & Edith Sand, 2009. "Migration-Regime Liberalization and Social Security: Political-Economy Effect," NBER Working Papers 15013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Russo, Giuseppe & Salsano, Francesco, 2012. "Electoral systems and immigration," MPRA Paper 38497, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Efraim Sadka & Ben Suwankiri & Assaf Razin, 2010. "The Welfare State and the Skill Mix of Migration: Dynamic Policy Formation," 2010 Meeting Papers 13, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0299 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Benjarong Suwankiri, 2009. "Migration and the welfare state: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory," NBER Working Papers 14784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Suwankiri, Benjarong & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2016. "The welfare state and migration: A dynamic analysis of political coalitions," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 122-142.
    9. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:19116205 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Lena Calahorrano & Philipp an de Meulen, 2011. "Demographics and Factor Flows – A Political Economy Approach," Ruhr Economic Papers 0299, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Lena Calahorrano, 2011. "Population Aging and Individual Attitudes toward Immigration: Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 389, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government

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