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Evolution of Citizenship

Evolution of Citizenship

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Published by Bianca Antal

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Published by: Bianca Antal on Oct 27, 2012
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07/07/2015

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both the cost and the fiscal gain of disenfranchisement, generating a trade off. The net
effect
will depend on which factor is stronger.
While the present formulation of the model is designed to establish conditions for
exten-
sion of citizenship rights to migrants, it can also encompass restriction. When the
status quo
is a jus soli regulation, or equivalently a particularly generous naturalization policy,
migrants
who are already in the country and have thus become citizens are simply to be
considered
as natives themselves. Together with the ethnic natives, they will decide whether or
not
restricting the current regulation taking into account the incoming waves of
immigrants and
following the simple logic previously illustrated.

The basic model can be extended to consider several other potentially relevant factors.
First, the impact of the size of government on citizenship laws can be captured by
assuming
that different countries exhibit different preference parameters toward
government. Thus a

relatively large government size, as captured by λ, could make an open citizenship

policy
more costly, by increasing the tax differential. Empirically, we should therefore
expect a
negative impact of the size of government on the degree of inclusiveness of
citizenship laws.
Second, demographic aspects could be considered by assuming that the migrants'
younger
average age implies a larger ability to contribute to the welfare state, at any given
level of
income. While our one-period model cannot explicitly reflect these aspects, we can
interpret
our tax as a life-long contribution, which is higher for a migrant. This should facilitate
the
decision to grant them citizenship and implies that countries with a relatively old
native
population should be particularly sensitive to these considerations and thus display a
more
open attitude.
Third, the level of democracy can influence the outcome since it implies a constraint
on
the political rights of the natives themselves, which can be modelled with an income
franchise
requirement. If only rich natives are allowed to vote, the associated tax rate will be
higher
than otherwise, thus amplifying the tax cost which follows the decision to allow
migrants to
vote. The testable implication is that the decision to grant citizenship is positively
influenced
by the domestic level of democracy.
Fourth, border instability could be captured in a version of the model where the size of
the native population, and thus the population share of migrants, is subject to
uncertainty.
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