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The Political Economy of Immigration

  • Alex Cukierman

    (The Foerder Institute for Economic Research, TAU)

  • Zvi Hercowitz
  • David Pines

In many democratic countries immigrants obtain voting rights only after seveal years. This paper provides an explanation for this phenomenon in the framework of a dynamic migration model of two countries (North-South). In this framework individuals differ in their preferences regarding the supply of a public good, or more generally, regarding some public policy issue. The individual migration decision takes into account both the pecuniary opportunities and the supplies of the public good - which are determined by majority vote in the respective countries. Everyone has been an immigrant at some time in the past. In equilibrium, however, there is an intrinsic political conflict between residents of different "vintages", which implies that longer-time residents are better off postponing the granting of voting rights to more recent immigrants.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 9405002.

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Date of creation: 19 May 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9405002
Note: TeX file, 44 pp, uses tcilatex.tex and qqaalart.sty (available in the TexMacroes and TeXStyles directories).
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  1. Dale Mortensen, 1984. "Job Search and Labor Market Analysis," Discussion Papers 594, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
  3. Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
  4. Hercowitz, Zvi & Pines, David, 1991. "Migration with fiscal externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 163-180, November.
  5. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1993. "International migration and international trade," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 851-887 Elsevier.
  6. Hercowitz, Z. & Pines, D., 1989. "Migration Between Home Country And Diaspora: An Economic Analysis," RCER Working Papers 180, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-12, June.
  9. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. McCall, B P & McCall, J J, 1987. "A Sequential Study of Migration and Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 452-76, October.
  11. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
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