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Electoral systems and immigration

Giuseppe Russo and Francesco Salsano

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We study the effect of electoral systems on openness to immigration. According to the literature, in our model plurality systems induce a rent-seeking policymaker to get re-election through locally provided public goods rather than through transfers, whereas the opposite occurs under proportional representation. In both systems policymakers can use immigration to enlarge the tax base and retrieve increased rents after compensating the decisive majority. However, this mechanism is more effective when the increased tax base does not flow to non-voting immigrants through transfers. Therefore, plurality electoral systems generate more openness to immigration. We find support for this result on a cross-section of 34 OECD countries. In addition, we show that mass immigration \ might incentivize policymakers to get re-election throug public goods rather than transfers also in proportional electoral systems.

Keywords: electoral systems; rent extraction; immigration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 H40 D78 D72 H00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-mig and nep-pol
Date: 2012-05-01
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Working Paper: Electoral Systems and Immigration (2017) Downloads
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