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Migration and Redistribution: Why the Federal Governance of an Economic Union Matters

Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka

NBER Working Paper No. 22329
Issued in June 2016
NBER Program(s):International Finance and Macroeconomics

Federal governance matters. Policy coordination allows the economic union to exercise monopsony power over migrants. Therefore the migration volumes under the policy-competition regime exceed those under the policy-coordination regime. With loose federal governance, competition over low-skilled migrants, who come with no capital, induces the individual member state to raise the provision of social benefit, so as to attract more migrants when starting from the coordination equilibrium. As a result, the social benefits in all other member States must also be raised to keep these migrants at their own economy. This amounts to excessively high income redistribution – a negative fiscal externality.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22329

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