DP12175 Migration-Induced Redistribution with and without migrant voting

Author(s): Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka
Publication Date: August 2017
Keyword(s): high skill migration, voting turnout, Welfare state
JEL(s): F22, H1
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics and Finance
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12175

We are motivated by the unique migration experience of Israel of a supply-side shock triggering skilled immigration and the concurrent decline in welfare-state redistribution. This paper develops a model, which can provide an explanation for the mechanism through which a supply-side shock triggering high-skill migration can also reshape the political-economy balance and the redistributive policies. The paper highlights the differences in the political-economy induced redistribution policies between the cases in which migrants participate in the electoral system and the case where they do not. When migrants are allowed to vote, and they take advantage of this right, then, following the shock, all income groups gain, except low skilled income groups who lose. When migrants are not allowed to vote, or choose not to participate in elections, all income groups gain, except the skilled migrants who lose.