We develop a dynamic political-economic theory of welfare state and immigration policies, featuring three distinct voting groups: skilled workers, unskilled workers, and old retirees. The essence of inter- and intra-generational redistribution of a typical welfare system is captured with a proportional tax on labor income to finance a transfer in a balanced-budget manner. We provide an analytical characterization of political-economic equilibrium policy rules consisting of the tax rate, the skill composition of migrants, and the total number of migrants. When none of these groups enjoy a majority (50 percent of the voters or more), political coalitions will form. With overlapping generations and policy-determined influx of immigrants, the formation of the political coalitions changes over time. These future changes are taken into account when policies are shaped.
- Generosity of welfare state
- Markov-perfect political equilibrium
- Pay as you go
- Political coalitions
- Skill composition of migration
- Strategic voting