In this Article, I argue that tax and transfer policies are more efficient than immigration restrictions as instruments for raising the after tax incomes of the least skilled native workers. Policies to protect these native workers frol1'l immigrant competition in the labor market do no better at promoting distributive justice and are likely to impose a greater economic burden on natives in the country of immigration than the tax alternative. These immigration restrictions are especially costly given the disproportionate burden that they place on households with working women, which discourages fel1'wle participation in the labor force. This burden runs contrary to the teachings of optimal tax theory and introduces excessive distortions in the labor market because the supply of female labor is more elastic than the supply of male labor. Thus, the best response to concerns about the effect of immigration on the distribution of income among natives is to increase the progressivity of the tax system.
Chang, Howard F., "The Disadvantages of Immigration Restriction as a Policy to Improve Income Distribution" (2008). Faculty Scholarship. 964.
Behavioral Economics Commons, Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics Commons, Civil Rights and Discrimination Commons, Demography, Population, and Ecology Commons, Economic Policy Commons, Ethics and Political Philosophy Commons, Immigration Law Commons, Inequality and Stratification Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Labor and Employment Law Commons, Labor Economics Commons, Law and Economics Commons, Law and Gender Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legal Theory Commons, Social Policy Commons, Taxation Commons, Women's Studies Commons, Work, Economy and Organizations Commons