Unskilled Migration: A Burden or a Boon for the Welfare State

25 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 1999 Last revised: 12 Oct 2010

See all articles by Assaf Razin

Assaf Razin

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: March 1999

Abstract

In a static setup, migration of unskilled labor may be resisted by the entire native-born population because, being relatively low earners, migrants are net beneficiaries of the fiscal system. However, the paper shows that with a pay-as-you-go pension, an important pillar of the welfare state, the dynamics are such that migration is beneficial to low and high income groups and the old and the young, provided that the economy has a good access to the world capital markets. This overall gain holds even though the migrants are net consumers of the pension system; they give to it less than they take from it. The pro-migration feature of the dynamic model is however weakened and possibly overturned when access to the world capital market is limited. In the case of low elasticity of substitution between capital and labor, earnings of native-born may be significantly affected, and the factor price effects can dwarf the effects of the migrants' giving to or taking from the welfare state on the native-born population.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf and Sadka, Efraim, Unskilled Migration: A Burden or a Boon for the Welfare State (March 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=155548

Assaf Razin (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 7303 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Efraim Sadka

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9712 (Phone)
+972 3 642 8074 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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