Allowing greater immigration may raise tax revenue and help pay for the welfare state, but it also affects the future composition of the voting population. This column discusses a political-economy model in which the largest group in a winning coalition chooses tax and immigration policies, and explains how the composition of the voting population changes over time.
Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka, Benjarong Suwankiri, Saturday, January 17, 2015
Ian Preston, Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Data on social attitudes show that the perceived burden of immigration on a nation’s public finances is one of the strongest economic concerns associated with hostility to immigration. Yet recent official reports suggest an important positive role for immigration in the long-run health of public finances. This column argues that there can be no general conclusions applicable in all circumstances about whether immigration is favourable or unfavourable for public finances. But evidence is emerging on particular cases through studies of immigrant composition and use of services, and the effects of immigration on native outcomes.
Frédéric Docquier, Çağlar Özden, Giovanni Peri, Monday, October 6, 2014
Researchers have devoted little attention to the effects of emigration from OECD countries, and the absence of detailed emigration data is the main culprit. Using a new and improved migration database, this column analyses the effect of migration on the wages of less educated native workers. The results suggest that, as far as labour market outcomes of less educated workers are concerned, governments should worry less about new arrivals and more about the potential consequences of their high emigration rates.
Michele Battisti, Gabriel Felbermayr, Giovanni Peri, Panu Poutvaara, Friday, August 8, 2014
Immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic in most OECD countries. Economic models emphasising the benefits of immigration for natives have typically neglected unemployment and redistribution – precisely the things voters are most concerned about. This column analyses the effects of immigration in a world with labour market rigidities and income redistribution. In two-thirds of the 20 countries analysed, both high-skilled and low-skilled natives would benefit from a small increase in immigration from current levels. The average welfare gains from immigration are 1.25% and 1.00% for high- and low-skilled natives, respectively.
Francesco Giavazzi, Ivan Petkov, Fabio Schiantarelli, Monday, June 16, 2014
The persistence of cultural attitudes is an important determinant of the success of institutional reforms, and of the impact of immigration on a country’s culture. This column presents evidence from a study of European immigrants to the US. Some cultural traits – such as deep religious values – are highly persistent, whereas others – such as attitudes towards cooperation and redistribution – change more quickly. Many cultural attitudes evolve significantly between the second and fourth generations, and the persistence of different attitudes varies across countries of origin.
Timothy J Hatton, Saturday, June 7, 2014
In the recent European Parliament elections, right-wing populist parties made significant gains. Commentators have linked the rise of these parties to growing anti-immigration sentiment in the wake of the crisis. This column examines the extent to which public opinion has in fact shifted against immigration. Survey data shows that there was no Europe-wide surge in anti-immigration opinion between 2006 and 2010, although there was a marked change in Spain, Greece, and Ireland. This suggests that populist parties’ success cannot be attributed to anti-immigration sentiment alone.
Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, Chad Sparber, Thursday, May 29, 2014
Immigrants to the US are drawn from both ends of the education spectrum. This column looks at the effect of highly educated immigrants – in particular, those with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics – on total factor productivity growth. The authors find that foreign STEM workers can explain 30% to 60% of US TFP growth between 1990 and 2010.
John Helliwell, Shun Wang, Jinwen Xu, Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Social norms have been shown to have important effects on economic outcomes. This column discusses new evidence showing that social norms are deeply rooted in long-standing cultures, but do evolve in reaction to major changes. It draws on a fully global sample involving migrants in more than 130 countries, using seven waves of the Gallup World Poll.
Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini, Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The immigration debate has focused on immigrants’ net fiscal impact – whether they receive more in welfare payments and other benefits than they pay back in taxes. This column summarises research showing that – contrary to popular belief – immigrants who arrived in the UK since 2000 have contributed far more in taxes than they have received in benefits. Compared with natives of the same age, gender, and education level, recent immigrants are 21% less likely to receive benefits.
Charlotte Geay, Sandra McNally, Shqiponja Telhaj, Saturday, September 14, 2013
Are children who are non-native speakers making education worse for native speakers? Presenting new research on England, this column uses two different research strategies showing that there are, in fact, no spillover effects. These results support other recent studies on the subject. The growing proportion of non-native English speakers in primary schools should not be a cause for concern.
Giovanni Peri, Agnese Romiti, Mariacristina Rossi, Sunday, September 8, 2013
Elderly people assisted by immigrant carers, rather than by their sons and daughters, has become a common feature of many European countries. This column presents evidence from Italy suggesting that the immigrant presence in the home-care sector has allowed women, especially those with elderly parents, to retire from their jobs later. Increasing the retirement age has to happen over the coming decades to ensure the sustainability of developed countries’ pension systems.
Brian C Cadena, Brian Kovak, Monday, August 12, 2013
In the US, fewer and fewer people are moving long distances to pursue job opportunities. Presenting new research on Mexican immigrants in the US, this column argues that there are large welfare gains from the efficient spatial allocation of labour. However, welfare gains from the movement of labour are woefully understudied. If immigrants are more willing to move for a job than natives, policymakers should allow them to do so with ease. Workers should be free to move to markets offering better opportunities.
Asako Ohinata, Jan van Ours, Thursday, July 25, 2013
Some European media have expressed concerns that the presence of immigrant children in schools may reduce the educational outcomes of native children. Analysing data from the Netherlands, this column finds that after controlling for differences within schools, the educational achievement of native children is almost completely unaffected by the presence of immigrant children.
Simone Bertoli, Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Monday, January 28, 2013
Migration policy is a pressing issue, but our empirical understanding of it is wanting. This column introduces new estimation techniques for identifying the impact of immigration policies. The novelty is to account for third-country effects since migrants have more options than staying home and moving to the hoped-for destination. Looking at bilateral policies in isolation misses this externality. Disregarding such ‘multilateral resistance to migration’ leads to an underestimation of the effect of bilateral migration policies, and thus potentially leading to severe policy mistakes.
Alireza Naghavi, Chiara Strozzi, Sunday, November 18, 2012
Does emigration create a brain drain or – as commentators have recently been suggesting – do diasporas in fact represent a net brain gain? This column argues that if sending countries can protect intellectual property rights, they will foster the necessary diaspora knowledge networks to significantly help economic development in sending countries.
Jennifer Hunt, Saturday, November 17, 2012
Are poorly-educated immigrants’ kids dragging native classmates down? Or do schoolchildren push themselves when new, smarter immigrants join their class? This column argues that although child immigrants may sometimes bring down native minorities, on the whole, poorly educated natives upgrade their education in response to new immigrants in the classroom.
Martin Halla, Alexander Wagner, Josef Zweimüller , Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Extreme nationalist parties in several European countries have become increasingly popular. While many speculate as to the reasons, this column provides some economic analysis. It looks at the link not just with immigration but with the type of immigration.
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Viola von Berlepsch, Sunday, September 2, 2012
This paper examines the extent to which the distinct settlement pattern of migrants arriving in the US during the big migration waves of the late 19th and early 20th centuries has left a legacy on the economic development of the counties where they settled and whether this legacy can be traced until today.
Eric D Gould, Esteban F Klor, Monday, January 30, 2012
How does radical Islamic terrorism impact Muslim immigrants in the West? The backlash against Muslims in the US after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 damaged assimilation among Muslim immigrants, argue the authors of CEPR DP8797 – and they present strong evidence to prove it.
William Kerr, William Lincoln, Prachi Mishra, Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Lobbying is a primary avenue through which firms attempt to change policy. But only a few big firms lobby and lobbying is highly persistent over time. This column argues that entry costs to the political process help explain these facts. It provides evidence from a change in immigration policy that induced firms that were already lobbying and were sensitive to the policy changes to switch from lobbying on other issues towards immigration while other firms did not enter the lobbying process.