The Common European Asylum System calls for increased coordination of the European Union (EU) countries’ policies towards asylum seekers and refugees. In this paper, we provide a formal analysis of the effects of coordination, explicitly modelling the democratic process through which policy is determined. In a symmetric, two-country citizen-candidate setup, in which accepting asylum seekers in one country generates a cross-border externality in the other, we show that coordination is desirable. Internalizing the externality leads to a welfare improvement over the non-cooperative outcome. However, contrary to suggestions by many observers, we show that allowing for cross-country transfers in the cooperative outcome leads to a welfare inferior outcome because the possibility of compensation exacerbates strategic delegation effects.
Political economy Asylum policy Migration
J61 H77 F22
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We are grateful to Gil Epstein who provided the impetus for this research, to two anonymous referees for insightful comments and to conference participants at the Midwest International Economics Spring 2005 meeting for helpful discussions. The usual caveat applies: all errors are ours.
Besley T, Coate S (1997) An economic model of representative democracy. Q J Econ 108(1):85–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Besley T, Coate S (2003) Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach. J Public Econ 87(4):2611–2637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boeri T, Hanson G, McCormick B (eds) (2002) Immigration policy and the welfare system. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar