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A political economy model of immigration quotas

The paper examines a model in which the number of immigrants allowed into a country is the outcome of a costly political lobbying process between a firm and a union. The union and the firm bargain over the wage of natives after the number of immigrants that will be permitted is known. I consider two contest success functions: one in which the lobbyist with the higher effort is not necessarily the winner and another in which the lobbyist with the higher effort wins with certainty (i.e., the all-pay auction). Comparative statics results are derived to show how the reservation wage of immigrants, the size of the union, the sensitivity of the legislature to lobbying, the reservation of wage of natives, the price of the firm's product and the firm's bargaining power affect immigration quotas and the post-immigration wage of natives. I also discuss some limitations of my results.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp00-19.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision: 19 Sep 2000
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp00-19
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Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada

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  1. Amegashie, J Atsu, 1999. "The Number of Rent-Seekers and Aggregate Rent-Seeking Expenditures: An Unpleasant Result," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 57-62, April.
  2. Glazer, A. & Konrad, K.A., 1997. "Taxation of Rent-Seeking Activities," Papers 97-98-04, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 67, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Clark, D.J. & Riis, C., 1996. "On the Win Probability in Rent-Seeking Gemes," Memorandum 05/1996, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  6. Kovenock, D. & de Vries, C.G., 1995. "The All-Pay Auction with Complete Information," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 311.95, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  8. Amegashie, J Atsu, 1999. "The Design of Rent-Seeking Competitions: Committees, Preliminary and Final Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 63-76, April.
  9. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Caps on Political Lobbying," Microeconomics 9809003, EconWPA.
  10. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
  11. Amegashie, J. Atsu, 2001. "An all-pay auction with a pure-strategy equilibrium," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 79-82, January.
  12. Ellingsen, Tore, 1991. "Strategic Buyers and the Social Cost of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 648-57, June.
  13. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 1997. "Rent Dissipation When Rent Seekers Are Budget Constrained," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 109-26, July.
  14. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1992. "Rigging the Lobbying Process: An Application of the All- Pay Auction," Papers 9-92-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  15. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. "Some Results on Rent-Seeking Contests with Shortlisting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 245-53, December.
  16. Kooreman, Peter & Schoonbeek, Lambert, 1997. "The specification of the probability functions in Tullock's rent-seeking contest," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 59-61, September.
  17. Donald A. Walker (ed.), 2000. "Equilibrium," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 1585, 10.
  18. Gordon M Myers & Yorgos Y Papageorgiou, 1997. "Immigration Control and the Welfare State," Department of Economics Working Papers 1997-01, McMaster University.
  19. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  20. Amegashie, J Atsu, 2000. "How Unpleasant a Result?: A Reply to Derek J. Clark," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 369-72, March.
  21. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, 03.
  22. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1999. "The Economic Goals of Canada's Immigration Policy, Past and Present," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(4), pages 425-451, December.
  23. Benhabib, Jess, 1996. "On the political economy of immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1737-1743, December.
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