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Fiscal and Migration Competition

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  • Assaf Razin
  • Efraim Sadka

Abstract

It is often argued that tax competition may lead to a "race to the bottom". Such a race may hold indeed in the case of the pure case of factor mobility (such as capital mobility). However, in this paper we emphasize the unique feature of labor migration, that may nullify the "race to the bottom" hypothesis. Labor migration is governed by net-of-tax factor rewards and the benefits that the welfare state provides. Tax rates are determined in a political economy set up which takes into account the effect of taxes and migration on factor rewards and the fiscal burden imposed by migration on the decisive voter. The paper models the host country stylistically as a member of the core of an economic union (i.e., a core EU welfare state member state), with tax financed benefits which is able to control the volume and the skill-composition of migration. The source country is modeled as an accession country to an economic union (i.e., through the EU enlargement treaty), with its own welfare (tax-benefit) policy. We let these two countries engage in fiscal competition. Using numerical simulations we examine how the migration policies are affected by whether the skilled or the unskilled are in power. We also analyze differences for tax policies between free and controlled migration, and the role of productivity gap.

Suggested Citation

  • Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2010. "Fiscal and Migration Competition," NBER Working Papers 16224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16224
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, March.
    2. Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
    3. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 179-208, May.
    4. Cohen, Alon & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2009. "The Skill Composition of Migration and the Generosity of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 7185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gordon H. Hanson & Kenneth Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Public Finance And Individual Preferences Over Globalization Strategies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-33, March.
    8. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "International Coordination of Fiscal Policy in Limiting Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 617-636, June.
    9. Barbone, Luca & Bontch-Osmolovsky, Misha & Zaidi, Salman, 2009. "The foreign-born population in the European Union and its contribution to national tax and benefit systems : some insights from recent household survey data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4899, The World Bank.
    10. Jasso, Guillermina & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2008. "Selection Criteria and the Skill Composition of Immigrants: A Comparative Analysis of Australian and U.S. Employment Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 3564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2013. "Migration and Fiscal Competition within a Union," NBER Working Papers 19282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Igor Fedotenkov, 2014. "Pension Reform, Factor Mobility and Trade with Country-Specific Goods," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 247-262, September.
    3. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2011. "Tax Competition and Migration: The Race-to-the-Bottom Hypothesis Revisited," NBER Working Papers 16670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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