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Immigration Control and the Welfare State

Author

Listed:
  • Gordon M. Myers

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

  • Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

Abstract

We examine immigration policy and its redistributive effects using a model of a rich country which must spend on border control in order to regulate immigration from a poor country. There are owners and workers in the rich country, and a public sector whi ch makes redistributive transfers from owners to workers. We first consider the case where illegal immigrants have access to the public sector, a situation currently observed in many countries. We show that as border control becomes more expensive inequal ity in the rich country increases, redistributive transfers may increase or decrease, some immigration is permitted and foreign aid may be used by the rich country in order to reduce the migration pressure along its border with the poor country. Because of nonconvexities, we also show that a small decrease in the aversion to inequality or a small increase in the poor country's population can lead to the collapse of the redistributive public sector. We then consider excluding illegal immigrants from the pu blic sector (e.g. California Proposition 187). We find that the possibility of collapse vanishes and that the rich country takes the toughest official stance on immigration but does not enforce it with border controls.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon M. Myers & Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou, 1997. "Immigration Control and the Welfare State," Working Papers 97001, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1997.
  • Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:97001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Djajic, Slobodan, 1987. "Illegal aliens, unemployment and immigration policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 235-249, February.
    2. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1986. "Illegal Immigration: The Host-Country Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 56-71, March.
    3. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Illegal Immigration and Immigration Control," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 101-115, Summer.
    4. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    5. David E. Wildasin, 1994. "Income Redistribution and Migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 637-656, August.
    6. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1997. "On the consequences of government objectives for economies with mobile populations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 265-281, January.
    7. Bond, Eric W. & Chen, Tain-Jy, 1987. "The welfare effects of illegal immigration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 315-328, November.
    8. Wellisch, Dietmar & Wildasin, David E., 1996. "Decentralized income redistribution and immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 187-217, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2006. "Subsidies for Wages and Infrastructure: How to Restrain Undesired Immigration," CESifo Working Paper Series 1741, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Gordon M. Myers & Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou, 2002. "Towards a Better System for Immigration Control," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74.
    3. J. Atsu Amegashie & Michael Batu, 2015. "Wider Boundaries: The Welfare State and International Remittances," CESifo Working Paper Series 5456, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Epstein, Gil S. & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "A Theory of Immigration Amnesties," IZA Discussion Papers 302, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Amegashie, J.A., 2002. "A Political Economy Model of Immigration Quotas," Working Papers 2002-9, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00544332 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Dustin Chambers & Jonathan Munemo, 2012. "Foreign aid, illegal immigration, and host country welfare," Working Papers 2012-007, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. Tapio Palokangas, 2008. "Self-Interested Governments, Unionization, and Legal and Illegal Immigration," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 2(1), pages 007-020, March.
    9. Gil Epstein & Avi Weiss, 2011. "The why, when, and how of immigration amnesties," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 285-316, January.
    10. J. Atsu Amegashie, 2000. "A political economy model of immigration quotas," Discussion Papers dp00-19, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, revised 19 Sep 2000.
    11. Slobodan Djajić & Michael S. Michael, 2014. "Controlling Illegal Immigration: On the Scope for Cooperation with a Transit Country," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 808-824, September.
    12. Tim Krieger & Steffen Minter, 2007. "Immigration amnesties in the southern EU member states - a challenge for the entire EU?," Working Papers CIE 6, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    13. Peter Egger & Wolfgang Eggert & Mario Larch, 2014. "Structural Operations and Net Migration Across European Union Member Countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 352-378, May.
    14. Panos Hatzipanayotou & Michael S. Michael, 2005. "Migration, Tied Foreign Aid and the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1497, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Jaume Sempere, 2008. "Redistribution as a Local Public Good Subject to Congestion," Economía Mexicana NUEVA ÉPOCA, , vol. 0(1), pages 49-62, January-J.
    16. Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Dustin Chambers & Jonathan Munemo, 2014. "Special Issue: Issues in Asia. Guest Editor: Laixun Zhao," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 372-385, May.
    17. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2006. "Can guest worker schemes reduce illegal migration ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3828, The World Bank.
    18. Giora Dula & Nava Kahana & Tikva Lecker, 2006. "How to partly bounce back the struggle against illegal immigration to the source countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 315-325, June.

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