Resisting Migration: The Problems of Wage Rigidity and the Social Burden

22 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2000 Last revised: 19 Jul 2014

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: October 1994

Abstract

Just like any trade activity in well-functioning markets, migration tends to enhance the efficiency of the allocation of resources. With non-distortionary income distribution policy instruments which can compensate losers, migration generates income gains. But the gains tend to be typically rather small. However, when the labor market is malfunctioning and wages are rigid, migration exacerbates imperfections in the market. Consequently, it may lead to losses to the established population which can be quite sizable. Another problem raised by migration is the toll it imposes on the welfare state. Being unable to perfectly exclude migrants from various entitlement programs and public services, the modern welfare state finds it more and more costly to run its various programs. These two economic considerations may help explain why there is strong resistance to migration. Consequently, improvements in functioning of the labor markets (with a possible compensation to wage earners that compete with unskilled migrants) and more selectivity in the scope of and the eligibility for the state entitlement programs may potentially ease, to a large extent, the resistance to migration from the established population.

Suggested Citation

Razin, Assaf and Sadka, Efraim, Resisting Migration: The Problems of Wage Rigidity and the Social Burden (October 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4903. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=238131

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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