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Public Pensions and Immigration

A Public Choice Approach Tim Krieger, Wilfried Guth Chair in Regulatory and Competition Policy, University of Freiburg, Germany
The rapid ageing of societies in many industrialized countries threatens the stability of unfunded public pension systems. An immigration policy that accepts young workers would appear to be a simple solution to the challenge, by increasing the number of contributors to the pension system. Tim Krieger uses public choice analysis to investigate whether a majority of voters would pursue an active immigration policy in order to stabilize its unfunded public pension system.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $129.00 Web: $116.10
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 440 4
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Choice
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Economics of Social Policy
The rapid ageing of societies in many industrialized countries threatens the stability of unfunded public pension systems. An immigration policy that accepts young workers would appear to be a simple solution to the challenge, by increasing the number of contributors to the pension system. Tim Krieger uses public choice analysis to investigate whether a majority of voters would pursue an active immigration policy in order to stabilize its unfunded public pension system.

Public Pensions and Immigration is a thorough and rigorous treatment of pension policy and international labor migration based on public choice theory, including an extensive discussion of pension policy in Europe and the challenges arising from increased labor mobility between EU member states. Tim Krieger reveals that the voting outcome critically depends on such parameters as the type of pension system, migrant qualifications and the possibility of return migration. He argues that the EU institutional framework, with respect to pension policy, cannot prevent harmful migration between EU member countries which is, in part, induced by differences in pension systems.

This book will appeal to researchers and scholars in the fields of economics, public choice, political science, European integration and migration. Policymakers involved in pension policy, immigration policy and European integration policy will also find this an illuminating book.
‘. . . it should be welcomed by analysts, researchers, and others interested in one of the most intractable problems of Western societies – the affordability of a welfare state when a population is ageing.’
– Jonathan Grant, Population Studies

‘The relationship between ageing societies and immigration raises a variety of key social and political questions. Krieger provides an invaluable examination of the issues particularly surrounding their impact on pensions, voting and public opinion. As public debate on immigration increasingly heats up, this is a very timely book.’
– Steven Vertovec, University of Oxford, UK
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Some Basic Facts on Ageing Societies and Immigration 3. Unfunded Pension Systems, Ageing Societies and Immigration 4. The Political Economy of Pension Policy and Immigration 5. A General Voting Model on Immigration and Pensions 6. Voting on Immigration when Pension Systems Differ 7. Redistribution and Labor Mobility 8. Pension Policy in the European Union 9. Pension Policy and the EU Eastern Enlargement 10. Concluding Remarks Appendices References Index