Immigration Control and the Welfare State

Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 75, Issue 2, February 2000

Posted: 19 Aug 2001

See all articles by Gordon M. Myers

Gordon M. Myers

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

McMaster University - Department of Economics

Abstract

We examine a model of a rich country with a redistributive public sector and facing costly immigration control. When illegal immigrants have access to the public sector we show that, as border control becomes more expensive, inequality in the rich country increases, redistributive transfers decrease and then may increase, some immigration is permitted and foreign aid may be used to reduce the migration pressure. Because of nonconvexities, we also show that 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 public sector (e.g., California Proposition 187). We find that collapse is no longer possible and that the rich country takes the toughest official stance on immigration but does not enforce it with border controls.

Keywords: Illegal immigration, Income redistribution

JEL Classification: F22, H23, J61

Suggested Citation

Myers, Gordon M. and Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., Immigration Control and the Welfare State. Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 75, Issue 2, February 2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=252759

Gordon M. Myers (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
604-291-3409 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: www.sfu.ca/~gmmyers

Yorgos Y. Papageorgiou

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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