Title

Immigration Restriction as Redistributive Taxation: Working Women and the Costs of Protectionism in the Labor Market

Document Type

Article

Comments

5 Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy 1 (2009).

Abstract

In this paper, 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 from 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 female 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.

Date of Authorship for this Version

9-11-2009

Keywords

Immigration Law, Labor Economics, Feminism, Women, Gender Studies, Income Taxation, Law and Equality, Race Relations, Economics, International Trade