Taxation, Ethnic Ties and the Location Choice of Highly Skilled Immigrants [E-Book] / Thomas Liebig and Alfonso Sousa-Poza
Liebig, Thomas.
Sousa-Poza, Alfonso.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2005
46 p. ; 21 x 29.7cm.
OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers ; 24
Social Issues/Migration/Health
Full Text
With the emerging international competition to attract highly skilled migrants, the determinants of their choice of residential location are increasing in importance. Besides expected wages and job opportunities, the costs of migration and the subjective evaluation of a location, two other factors help determine the expected net return from migration: taxes and network effects. Yet empirical research on the effects of these two factors and their interaction on highly skilled migration is lacking. The aim of this paper is to throw some empirical light on the role of these two factors via a case study of Switzerland. For several reasons, Switzerland is a particularly interesting case study for this task. Tax rates are primarily determined at the local level and thus enough variation exists to analyse their influence on migration. Furthermore, in contrast to other European countries, Switzerland has pursued a fairly liberal immigration policy and maintains a unique permit system that has become increasingly skills-focused: more than 35% of all persons with a university degree resident in Switzerland are immigrants. Analysis of the 2000 Swiss census data provides evidence for fiscally-induced migration within Switzerland, particularly with respect to a location choice of highly skilled immigrants.