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.
In the wake of the latest horrific drowning of some 900 immigrants in the Mediterranean and with a view to the extraordinary EU Summit on April 23rd, this Commentary argues that any short, medium and long-term EU migration policy priorities should start by unequivocally setting out their founding and operational principles. This step would be closely followed by implementation of effective action on the ground aimed at meeting the realities and alleviating the hardship.
The inflow of low-skilled migrants may encourage natives to upgrade their skills, taking advantage of immigrant-native complementarity. This column uses exogenous dispersion of refugees in Denmark to investigate this issue. The findings confirm that for low-skilled native workers, the presence of refugee-country immigrants spurred mobility and increased specialisation into complex jobs.
In the last year, more than 4,000 people have lost their lives attempting to
cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe. As EU commissioners prepare
to debate an immigration strategy, they must overcome the temptation to grasp at
knee-jerk solutions and instead develop a robust plan of action both at home and