The Political Economy of Open Borders: Theory and Evidence on the Role of Electoral Rules

54 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021

See all articles by Matteo Gamalerio

Matteo Gamalerio

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University

Margherita Negri

University of St. Andrews

Date Written: March 1, 2021

Abstract

Institutions matter for the political choice of policies, and hence the consideration of the median voter's preferences should not be considered sufficient. We study theoretically and empirically how different electoral systems affect the level of openness of a country or city, zooming on the labor market as the main source of heterogeneous economic preferences towards immigration. The general result is that a polity is more open to immigration the less likely it is that policy making can be supported by a plurality of voters who do not constitute the absolute majority. There is evidence for this result at all levels in terms of correlations, and we establish causality via regression discontinuity design for the Italian case.

Keywords: Electoral Rules, Immigration, Occupational Choice

JEL Classification: D72, J24, J61, R23

Suggested Citation

Gamalerio, Matteo and Morelli, Massimo and Negri, Margherita, The Political Economy of Open Borders: Theory and Evidence on the Role of Electoral Rules (March 1, 2021). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 2021-157, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3796800 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3796800

Matteo Gamalerio (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona - Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) ( email )

c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Margherita Negri

University of St. Andrews ( email )

The Gateway
North Haugh
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9RJ
United Kingdom

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