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The Political Economy of Immigrants Naturalization

Authors
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Political Science

Abstract

This paper provides the first political economy model in which self-interested natives decide when voting rights should be granted to foreign-born workers. This choice is driven by the maximization of th net gains from immigration. We focus on the provision of a public good : immigrants could enlarge the tax base by increasing the total workforce, but at the same time they influence the tax rate by eventually exerting their political rights. We find that the quantity and the quality (human capital) of perspective immigrants, the political composition of the native population, and the sensitivity of the migration choice to voting rights, are all decisive factors in determining the political choice over the optimal timing of naturalization

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