Discussion Papers

No.008 On Labor Complementarity, Cultural Frictions and Strategic Immigration Policies

by FUJITA Masahisa and Shlomo Weber

September 2004


In this paper we consider a model with two industrialized countries that face a flow of immigration from the "rest of the world." The countries differ in three characteristics: the labor complementarity between the "native" population and immigrants, the population size, and the magnitude of the cultural friction between the natives and immigrants. We consider a non-cooperative game between two countries' when their strategic instrument is the choice of an immigration quota and the world immigrant wages introduce the spill-over effect between two countries. We first show that the quota game admits unique pure strategies Nash equilibrium. We then compare the equilibrium choices of two countries and show that even though the larger country attracts more immigrants, it chooses lower quota than its smaller counterpart. It also turns out that higher degree of labor complementarity between natives and immigrants and a lower degree of cultural friction between two groups yield higher immigration quota. We also examine the welfare implications of countries choices' and argue that coordinated and harmonized immigration policies may improve the welfare of both countries.

Keywords: Intra-Country Heterogeneity, Labor Complementarity, Immigration Quota,Policy Harmonization.
JEL classification: C72, F22, O3, R1.

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