Pay-as-they-get-in: Attitudes towards Migrants and Pension Systems

43 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2023

See all articles by Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Matteo Gamalerio

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

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University

Margherita Negri

University of St. Andrews

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 27, 2023

Abstract

We study whether a better knowledge of the functioning of pay-as-you-go pension systems and recent demographic trends in the hosting country affects natives’ attitudes towards immigration. In two online experiments in Italy and Spain, we randomly treated participants with a video explaining how, in pay-as-you-go pension systems, the payment of current pensions depends on the contributions paid by current workers. The video also explains that the ratio between the number of pensioners and the number of workers in their countries will grow substantially in the future. We find that the treatment improves participants’ knowledge about how a pay-as-you-go system works and the future demographic trends in their country. However, we find that only treated participants who do not support populist and anti-immigrant parties display more positive attitudes towards migrants, even though the treatment increases knowledge of pension systems and demographic trends for all participants.

Keywords: Information provision, experiment, immigration, pay-as-you-go pension systems, population ageing, populism

JEL Classification: C90, D83, H55, J15, F22

Suggested Citation

Boeri, Tito and Gamalerio, Matteo and Morelli, Massimo and Negri, Margherita, Pay-as-they-get-in: Attitudes towards Migrants and Pension Systems (February 27, 2023). BAFFI CAREFIN Centre Research Paper No. 197, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4373803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4373803

Tito Boeri (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Matteo Gamalerio

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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