Economics of Governance

, 12:325 | Cite as

Voting over selective immigration policies with immigration aversion

Original Paper


Selective immigration policies set lower barriers to entry for skilled workers. However, simple economic intuition suggests that skilled majorities should welcome unskilled immigrants and protect skilled natives. This paper studies the voting over a selective policy in a two-country, three-factor model with skilled and unskilled labor, endogenous migration decisions, costly border enforcement and aversion to immigration. Results show that heterogeneity in capital distribution forces skilled voters to form a coalition with unskilled voters, who become pivotal. The voting outcome is therefore biased towards the preferences of the latter, and consists in a selective protectionism. Finally, immigration aversion helps to explain why skilled majorities do not bring down entry barriers against unskilled workers.


Selective immigration policies Multidimensional voting Cultural preferences Condorcet winner 

JEL Classification

D72 F22 J18 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e StatisticheUniversità degli Studi di SalernoFisciano (SA)Italy

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