Migration and the Welfare State: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory

48 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 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

Ben Suwankiri

Cornell University - Department of Economics; TMB Bank Pub. Co. Ltd.

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2010

Abstract

We develop a dynamic politico-economic theory of welfare state, featuring three groups of voters: skilled workers, unskilled workers, and old retirees. The welfare-state is modeled by a proportional tax on labor income to finance a demogrant in a balanced-budget manner to capture the essence of inter- and intra-generational redistribution of a typical welfare system. Migrants arrive when young and their birth rate exceeds the native-born birth rate. We characterize political-economic equilibrium policy rules consisting of the tax rate, the skill composition of migrants, and the total number of migrants, in terms of demographic and labor productivity characteristics. We find that political coalitions will form among skilled and unskilled voters or among unskilled and old voters in order to block the other group from coming into power. As a consequence, the ideal polices of the unskilled voters always feature in any political economy equilibrium.

Keywords: generous welfare state, pay as you go, skill composition of migration

JEL Classification: F0, G0

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf and Sadka, Efraim and Suwankiri, Benjarong, Migration and the Welfare State: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory (September 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1707886

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)

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Munich, DE-81679
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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

Benjarong Suwankiri

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States

TMB Bank Pub. Co. Ltd. ( email )

3000 Phahonyothin Rd.
Chomphon,Chatuchak
Bangkok, 10900
Thailand

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