Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 131–144 | Cite as

Welfare effects of illegal immigration

  • Theodore PalivosEmail author
Original Paper


This paper analyzes the welfare effect of illegal immigration on the host country within a dynamic general equilibrium framework and shows that it is positive for two reasons. First, immigrants are paid less than their marginal product, and second, after an increase in immigration, domestic households find it optimal to increase their holdings of capital. It is also shown that dynamic inefficiency may arise, despite the fact that the model is of the Ramsey type. Nevertheless, the introduction of a minimum wage, which leads to job competition between domestic unskilled workers and immigrants reverses all of the above results.


Economic growth Illegal immigration 

JEL Classification

F2 O4 



I would like to thank Hung-Ju Chen, Bharat Hazari, Chong Yip, seminar participants at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Kyung Hee University and the University of Cyprus, and especially two anonymous referees for valuable comments and suggestions on an earlier version of the paper. I would also like to thank the Research Committee of the University of Macedonia for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MacedoniaSalonicaGreece

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