NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Jackline Wahba

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Working Papers

October 2011Welfare Magnet Hypothesis, Fiscal Burden and Immigration Skill Selectivity
with Assaf Razin: w17515
This paper revisits the magnet hypothesis and investigates the impact of the welfare generosity on the difference between skilled and unskilled migration rates. The main purpose of the paper is to assess the role of mobility restriction on shaping the effect of the welfare state genrosity. In a free migration regime, the impact is expected to be negative on the skill composition of migrants while in a restricted mobility regime, the impact will be the opposite, as voters will prefer selective migration policies, favoring skilled migrants who tend to be net contributors to the fiscal system. We utilize the free labor movement within EUR (the EU, Norway and Switzerland) and the restricted movement from outside of the EUR to compare the free migration.
February 2011Free vs. Controlled Migration: Bilateral Country Study
with Assaf Razin: w16831
This paper tests the differential effects of the generosity of the welfare state under free migration and under policy-controlled migration, distinguishing between source developing and developed countries. We utilize free-movement within the EU to examine the free migration regime and compare that to immigration into the EU from two other groups, developed and developing source countries, to capture immigration-restricted regimes. We standardize cross-country education quality differences by using the Hanushek-Woessmann (2009) cognitive skills measure. We find strong support for the "Magnet Hypothesis" under the free-migration regime, and the "Fiscal Burden Hypothesis" under the immigration- restricted regime even after controlling for differences in returns to skills in source and host c...

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