DP2714 | The Political Economy of International Migration in a Ricardo-Viner Model

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Determinants of national policies towards immigration are analysed in the context of an economy open to international trade. Arguments for the existence of an ?immigration surplus? are reviewed and followed by an interpretative survey of the principal contributions of the political economy literature, emphasising the role of the determinants of individual preferences in a direct democracy framework. A median voter model is grafted on several variants of a specific-factor open-economy model to discuss several recent changes in attitudes towards immigration (a stiffened stance, especially towards the unskilled) and in national policies (?melting-pot? vs. guest-worker programs, coexistence of legal and illegal immigrants, lax enforcement towards illegals).