Abstract

This paper analyzes the political economy of immigration when the salient electoral issue is the level of immigrants and the relevant immigration policy is the expenditure in immigration control. We consider that immigration affects voters' welfare through economic and non economic factors. We model political competition à la Wittman with the ideology of parties endogenously determined at equilibrium. At equilibrium, parties propose different levels of immigration, located to the left and to the right of the median voter's ideal point, and combine skilled and unskilled workers among their constituencies. Numerical simulations provide the levels of immigration proposed by the two parties and the composition of parties' constituencies as we vary the efficacy of immigration control and the intensity of immigration aversion.